A point to consider: God used both Samuel and David, as youths, to fulfill His will. David gives Saul his objective, and why — Goliath (I Sam. 17:26,34-37,47). Check out David's weapon (17:45). David gains the hearts of all Israel and Judah (18:16) including Saul's son and daughter (18:1,20), but Saul becomes jealous of David (18:9-11).
David's popularity with the people began immediately following his victory over Goliath. David's advancement and Saul's decline appeared to be the outcome of human events, yet it was the hand of God working through everyday experiences of life. The basic differences between the two men are obvious. Saul allowed his self-interest to destroy him, but David was concerned with glorifying the Lord. All this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands (I Sam. 17:47) reminds us that this basic principle is still true today. Jesus said: Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
David's victories were too much for the pride-filled heart of Saul. The demon of jealousy had a grip on Saul. He was consumed with a bitter spirit as he recognized that this young shepherd boy was displacing him from a position of influence and honor which was once exclusively his. Jealousy so ruled him that he even determined to murder David, although he knew David was approved by God.
Saul could have been the first to challenge and defeat Goliath and join the Hebrew heroes who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises (Heb. 11:33). Instead, he is an example of failure to surrender to the will of God. In contrast, David considered the giant insignificant compared to the ability of the living God to protect His people. We are warned: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (12:15). Faith is developed one day at a time as we continue to read all of His Word in order to obey the Lord and honor Him, regardless of how powerful our opposing "giants" may appear.
There are many like Saul who are eager to destroy their competition if, in doing so, it advances their own agenda.
Murder is not the only means of destruction. Some have been destroyed by a slanderous tongue. This is a reminder that when a servant of God is being used of the Lord, he may expect to be envied, slandered, and hated. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16).
Thought for Today:
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside (do not serve the Lord) (Deut. 11:16).
By Jonathan, who stripped himself of his royal robes and made a covenant, promising all that he had to David (I Sam. 18:3-4). Knowing the will of God, Jesus cast off His heavenly robes and took upon Him the form of a servant . . . and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8).
17:6 greaves peg armor; 17:18 take their pledge bring back news of how they are doing; 17:20 trench camp; 17:22 carriage baggage, supplies; 17:31 rehearsed reported; 17:39 assayed tried, attempted; proved tested, tried; 17:40 a scrip his small pouch; 17:43 staves sticks; 17:53 spoiled; 17:56 stripling youth; 18:9 eyed kept his eye upon David with suspicion, envy, and jealousy; 18:11 avoided escaped; 18:27 tale number.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN), Rep. Joseph Courtney (CT), and Rep. Timothy Walz (MN) • Country: Bulgaria (8.2 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Bulgarian and ethnic languages • Newly opened to evangelism • 85% Eastern Orthodox; 12% Muslim Sunni; 1% Shi'a Muslim; .6% Catholic; .27% Protestant; .1% Armenian Gregorian; .03% Jewish; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Continue to watch and pray with thanksgiving (Col. 4:2).
Optional Reading: Acts 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:9