Saturday, April 4, 2009

When David Slays Ten Thousands

1Sa 18:7 So the women sang as they danced, and said: "Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands."
 8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?"
 9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward.

One of the key failures for some Christians is not recognizing the principle being taught here: people blessed by God might face jealousy from the leader. David was totally loyal to King Saul, delivered Saul's kingdom from Saul's enemies, and was faithful in every assignment that Saul gave him. Common sense tells us that Saul should appreciate David.

But Saul also understood some spiritual principles. He knew that ultimately, it is God Who sets up kings, and he suspected that God was in the process of doing so. He would also fear a conspiracy by David to murder him, but one way or the other, Saul regarded David as a threat to Saul's power.

So, why didn't David's loyalty work? Why didn't David's good service persuade Saul to appreciate David? Because sin was a factor in Saul's life, and Saul misjudged David as having the same sin. David stayed loyal to Saul just the same, and God blessed him. But I want to show you what happened to some people who got caught in the middle.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pr 18:13 ¶ He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.

A common problem when I taught school involved students lying to their parents about why they got into trouble. Smart students quickly learned that if they could get to the parent first, they could get the parent into a rage against the teacher, the parent would complain to other parents, and then the parent had a hard time backing down when the teacher told what actually happened. Some parents would then refuse to back down and would launch telephone smear campaigns against the teacher. What the parents didn't know was this:

The students, especially their own child, regarded the parent as stupid.

If it got serious enough, the school board would look into the matter, and they would try to solve the problem graciously. But among themselves, the school board believed:

The parent was stupid.

Some parents prided themselves on how afraid the teachers were of them. They would have been less proud if they had known what the teachers thought about them when they discussed the situation among themselves:

The parent is stupid.

If you want to succeed in the Christian life, you will need to influence other Christians by your good example. You will need to have other Christians trust you to handle problems. You cannot do this if you make decisions without hearing the entire matter first, because if you do, other Christians will regard you as stupid.