Wednesday, April 19th
Devotional written by Pastor Connor Johnson, Middle School Pastor
SECOND RESPONSE TO DAVID’S SUCCESS
To read today: 1 Samuel 18:8-11
Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”
1 Samuel 8:8
Back when I was in middle school, our summer camp leaders challenged the group to memorize all of Matthew 7. Within three days, one student recited all 29 verses with little hiccups. While the rest of our group applauded, I declared a claim with no evidence, “That’s not fair; she cheated!” The student returned to her seat with her head hung low despite the honorable accomplishment.
At the end of this passage in 1 Samuel 18, we see that jealousy leading to cruel actions is not a new phenomenon, and it also is not unique to middle schoolers. You and I can quickly fall into jealousy, mainly stemming from insecurity. The irony for Saul is that he is the first King of Israel, called to this position of authority by the creator of the world. Yet, he did not believe this truth. In the eyes of Saul, David’s success was a far greater threat than all the power of God could not stop.
When someone accomplishes something great, when a coworker gets a promotion, when a family member gets the attention you long for, what is your gut reaction? The cautionary tale found in the life of Saul should warn us of the dangerous effects that flow out of jealousy.
Reflection: When have you reacted poorly to someone else’s success? Send that person a letter to apologize for not sharing in the joy of their success.