“Responding to God’s Blessings on Others”
1 Samuel 17:55-18:16
How do you respond when God chooses to grant the thing you’ve been praying for, not in your life, but in your co-worker’s life? How do you respond when the fellow church member is receiving the blessings you have longed for? Or when someone else experiences a miraculous healing, but not you? Or when someone else’s ministry flourishes, but not yours?
In 1 Samuel 18, David begins to be recognized as the champion of Israel. His success elevates him in the eyes of the people. He comes home from battle to hear women singing “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” But David is not the only one hearing this. The king and his son are very aware that they have been upstaged by David’s victory, and they must choose how to respond.
Take some time this week to read 1 Samuel 18:1-16 a few times. Make note of the contrast between Jonathan’s response and Saul’s response. How can Jonathan love David, when David’s success means giving up what would otherwise be his? And on the other hand, why does Saul despise David who has been nothing but faithful to him? What lies at the root of each of these responses?
Finally, what do these two responses teach us about how to respond to the blessings of others? If you are being honest with yourself, you would probably admit that rejoicing in the success or blessings of others (especially at a time when you are struggling) is not a natural response. May the Lord use this text in each of our hearts to help us learn how to be the kind of people who are free from self-pity, who sincerely desire the good of others, and who can look beyond ourselves for the sake of God’s kingdom.