Saturday, August 22, 2015

1 Samuel 18

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Samuel 18. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Saul becomes increasingly jealous of -- and intimidated by -- David. David starts to receive more praise from the Israelites for his military victories, and he captures the attention of many women.
  • Saul wanted to curb this celebration of David, so he offers David his daughter's hand in marriage. David declines, so Saul offers him his other daughter's hand in marriage. David still declines, because he does not see himself as worthy of marrying such a high-profile bride (or being able to pay for his part of the wedding celebration).
  • Saul assures David that he does not have to put up a lot of money or achieve a great status to marry his bride. Instead, he tells David he will let him marry his daughter if he can kill 100 Philistines and prove he killed them by bringing back their foreskins (which is as weird as it sounds). Saul thought David would surely die in battle, but David ends up killing twice as many Philistines as Saul asked. Because of this he is able to marry Saul's daughter.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Saul is a prideful man. His pride has been a constant source of problem for himself as well as those around him. If he hadn't become jealous of David's accomplishments, it would have caused less grief for him and could have spared the lives of 200 Philistines. When we let our pride drive our decisions, it eventually leads to destruction.
  • We need to weed out pride from our lives. God's offer to us -- the offer of life in him through the death of Jesus -- is a humbling proposition. If we live in that life, we must remind ourselves that God is God and we are not. We need to make all of our decisions based on what is best for God and best for other people. Instead of envying others, we should celebrate with them.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Who in your life are you jealous of? As difficult as it may be, what could you do today to celebrate with that person? Could you send them an encouraging text message or email? Could you compliment them on the thing they're great at? Lifting up other people is a great first step toward eliminating unhealthy pride.