(Read 1 Samuel 18:19-27)
This morning I continue our series entitled, “Standing on a Word from God.” This is Part 62 of the series and Part 34 of the life of David.
Yesterday we learned that David — after being deceived by Saul with his first daughter and after being given a ridiculous requirement of killing 100 Philistines for the next daughter — was ultimately given the privilege of marrying a princess. David and princess Michal married and I am sure the royal wedding was amazing.
Let’s think about this wedding for a moment. For whatever reason, while I was thinking about the wedding, the Lord had me to think about Eliab. Do you remember him? He was David’s eldest brother. Eliab was the firstborn and David was the eighth and final son son of Jesse. The Bible does not say if Eliab was at the wedding, but changes are that Jesse and his boys, David’s brothers, were there.
Can you imagine what Eliab must have been thinking? Being the firstborn was a big deal back then. It meant that he had birthright blessing. I am sure he thought of himself more highly than his younger brothers. It is clear that he certainly thought of himself above David. So I am sure it was painful to see David anointed right in front of him. When the prophet Samuel stood in front of Eliab, for a moment it looked like Eliab was the one. The prophet Samuel was enamored by Eliab’s strength and good looks. Saul thought to himself, “Surely this is the LORD’s anointed!” (1 Sam 16:6). Eliab was strong, good looking, and being the oldest he thought he was the best. But when the Lord told the prophet that Eliab was not the one, and neither were any of the other six boys present, I am sure Eliab was not happy when the entire family had to wait on David to come out of the field in order to get blessed right in front of them.
Later, when David was running an errand for his father, taking lunch to his brothers, it was Eliab who got angry with him. David was there to bring lunch to his big brother, and when he asked about the reward for killing Goliath, Eliab blew up on David and said, “What are you doing here! Why aren’t you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you’re up to. You’ve come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!” (1 Sam 17:28). It is clear that Eliab had a chip on his shoulder concerning the attention his little brother was getting. I can only imagine the look on Eliab’s face when David cut Goliath’s head off.
So let’s get back to the wedding. I imagine Eliab was thinking, “Man, that should be me! I should be marrying the king’s daughter right now. David does not deserve this.” Of course, I am using my holy imagination here. But I can see Eliab, even at the wedding, thinking that he was better than David and how he should have been receiving what David was receiving. But the truth is that Eliab had no idea what David had been through to get to where he was. And that’s who it is with most people.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. Most people don’t know what you have been through to get to where you are today.
a) People see your success, but they don’t know your struggle. They see your glory, but they don’t know your story.
b) God has a way of making your mess your message. God will take your test and make it your testimony. However, most people look at you today and they see you after the processing. They have no idea what you have been through to get to where you are.
c) People may covet what you have (influence, position, power, possessions, etc.), but if the truth were told, they would not want to go through what you went through to get to where you are today.
d) Eliab was not there when David wrestled a lion and a bear with his bare hands. Eliab was not down there in the valley with the giant. Eliab was not there when the king (a man with supreme authority) hurled two spears at David’s head. Eliab was not there when David had to kill 100 Philistines in order to earn the right to marry the princess. It would have been too easy for Eliab to stand at David and Michal’s wedding and say that David was “lucky,” but Eliab had no clue what David had been through.
e) People only like to acknowledge your harvest, but they conveniently overlook the years of sowing you did. They don’t know what you’ve been through, but you do. So remain humble, thank God for His goodness, and know that without him you would have never survived the struggle long enough to see the success.
2. They don’t have your grace.
a) The same people who covet what you have and who you have become, would have been destroyed if that had to endure what you had to endure on the path to your destiny. They want the success, but they could not handle the struggle required to get it. So pray for them and never allow their jealousy to cause you to veer off course. Stay focused, remain humble and never allow anyone or anything to derail you from your destiny.
b) When others resent your success, thinking that they could have done what you did even better than you did it, don’t entertain their envy. Know that you only did what you did because of God’s grace on your life. If they keep spending their time wondering about how they could have lived your life, they are wasting their own.
d) Don’t waste time wondering what it would be like to run someone else’s race. You have your own race, with your own grace, and you must run it at your own pace. That’s the only way you become the man/woman God called you to be!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for gracing me to get to where I am today. You elevate me today to a certain level of success. You put me on display. Others see the success I experience at this stage of my life and most of them have no clue what I have been through. They see the success, but they don’t know the struggle. They see the glory, but they don’t know the story. They see the harvest, but they were not there when I was sowing seed. So I refuse to allow the bitterness or resentment others may have, for my success, to cause me to get bitter. I run with patience the race You have set before me. I run my own race, with my own grace, at my own pace. Others don’t have my grace and I do not have theirs. So I just focus on being the ME You called me to be. I am uniquely equipped to change the world, because no one on this planet has the grace You have given me Father! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.