“Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.” (2 Samuel 5:12)
We’ve seen David respond well in bad situations …but how will he respond in good ones? I think of those lottery winners you always hear about. Like William Post who won $16.2 million in 1988 and was $1 million in debt within a year. Or David Lee Edwards who won $27 million and was living in a storage trailer with his wife within five years.
Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle says: “But for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” In other words, there are few of us out there who can handle success. David’s real troubles would come with success.
David was a man after God’s heart, but he wasn’t sinless. Paul reminds us: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23). David was Israel’s hero, but not without fault. Perfection is not a qualification for being a hero. A hero, by definition, is human. Emerson said: “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”
We see that David actually functioned better (spiritually speaking) when he was in adverse situations. When life was difficult, David had his guard up. He prayed. In tough times he relied on God. Later, when life was easy, he let his guard down and relied on himself.
In C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, the demon mentor Uncle Screwtape, tells his young demon protégé, Wormwood: “The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity… are excellent campaigning weather.” Traps work best when you’re distracted and don’t see them.
Chuck Swindoll calls these traps the 4 S’s: Silver, sloth, sex, and self. Almost without exception, these are the traps that catch leaders like David…or any one of us if we’re not careful.
Join us Sunday for my sermon Game of Thrones as we discuss how to avoid the enemy’s snares in our lives.