Thursday, March 28, 2019

Envy Destroys

My wife and I were away the first part of the week at a conference in association with the Kent and Grass Valley churches. At one of the sessions the keynote speaker addresses issues that get in the way of connectedness in partnerships and relationships. In doing this he pointed to envy that he felt was the greatest hurdle. Looking at this he went to a relationship that I touched on in the last post, that of Jonathan and David as well as Jonathan’s father King Saul. Last time we looked at the positives in the relationship. Here we are looking at the negative.

David had been engaged in battle on behalf of King Saul and met with great success. In response, the people began to sing his praise. We read in 1 Samuel 18:8-9, “Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on.” (1 Samuel 18:8–9, NASB95) We see in this account that Saul heard the comparison and it weighed heavy on him. He desired to have the glory given to David for himself, and from that point forward he viewed David with resentment.

Envy is said to be a green monster. We see in this record and what followed that it began to consume Saul and he spent an exhaustive amount of time trying to bring David down so that he might have that recognition for himself. It robbed him of joy as it festered in him and consumed his thoughts and energies, even leading to his destruction. In contrast to this, his own son Jonathan chose to lay aside his own glory in favor of the one that God had raised, and rather than being consumed by what he did not have he chose giving, sacrifice and love. He chose freedom over bondage.

Posted in Sherman County eNews Spiritual Matters on March 15, 2019

Through Thick and Thin

Before David became king of Israel, he was brought into the home of Israel’s first king, Saul who had a son named Jonathan. David and Jonathan hit it off, and we read of them, “…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.” (1 Samuel 18:1, NASB) Later when king Saul would become jealous of David’s success, Jonathan sought to protect David against the attacks of his own father. After an extended time of being pursued, David heard of the deaths of both Saul and Jonathan in battle. He honored them both, but of Jonathan he said, “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26, NASB)

Later David’s son, Solomon wrote, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24, NASB) Surely, Solomon must have heard the stories about the great friendship between his father and his dear friend and all that they endured together. It was not an easy friendship, and things happened that would shatter most relationships. But these men remained strong together and their love endured.

Beyond them, we all have things that come into our lives that can shake us at our cores. The question is whether you have someone who is or can be that faithful friend who you will stand with your like a Jonathan? God loves us this way. But what about someone with flesh and blood who along with God the three of you can endure all things? Solomon also wrote, “And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NASB)

We are not intended to walk alone.

Posted in Sherman County eNews Spiritual Matters on March 8, 2019