Reason for Success
Spend a few moments bringing your day before the Lord and asking for his perspective on situations you are going through.
Read 1 Samuel 17:55-18:16
 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?” Abner replied, “As surely as you live, O king, I don’t know.”  The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”  As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.  “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him. David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”  After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.  From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house.  And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.  Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.  Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul’s officers as well.  When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes.  As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”  Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”  And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.  The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand  and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.  Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul.  So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns.  In everything he did he had great success, because the LORD was with him.  When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him.  But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was Saul so harsh toward David?
Are you rich? Are you beautiful? Are you popular? Do you have people who love you? These are the sorts of questions one might ask to discover if a person is successful—by the world’s standards. But is this all it means to be successful?
Today’s passage says of David that, “In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him” (18:14). That meant he brought honor to his family (17:58), had a best friend who loved him (18:1), and was victorious in battle (18:7). David’s faithfulness and devotion to God did not go unrewarded; it is obvious that by worldly standards David was successful.
There is another more important level to David’s success, however. The reason for it: God was with him. The courage he gained to fight Goliath and the inner strength we continue to see as David loses favor with Saul is due to one constant in David’s life—his foundation in the Lord. Without this, he would not have had success in the first place, and without this he would not survive the difficult times ahead.
What are you striving after in life? Would you say you are successful? By what standards do you judge success?
Take some time now to ask God for more of his presence in your life and blessing on you and your family.
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