Know that it is good

Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul, spear in hand, was seated under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeath, with all his officials standing around him. Saul said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”

1 Samuel 22:6-8 (NIV)

This sounds like the rant of a madman. It is the rant of a madman. Jealousy can be a powerful motivator. Saul saw David as a great threat to his rule over Israel and sought to destroy him. He allowed his jealousy, anger, and rage to consume him. Instead of ruling the nation as he had been anointed to do, Saul took his best men and went running around the countryside seeking to kill the man who had once been the only one who could calm him.

David, on the run, had long ago been anointed as the next king of Israel. The present king was doing all that he could to prevent David from ascending the throne. At one point, David had ample opportunity to take Saul’s life, and thus, the throne. His men would have followed him that day in the cave had David chosen to relieve Saul of his life while Saul relieved himself. But that would have made David just like Saul.

Saul had once been an honourable man. Anointed as king over Israel, he started off well, but soon took matters into his own hands rather than leaving them in God’s hand. God had already taken his anointing from Saul’s familial line. David, the man who chased after God’s heart, would be the start of a line of royalty that would not only last for generations, but for eternity.

But all of that could have easily been cast away had David chosen to kill Saul instead of trim his robe. David took the path of humility over the path of vengeance. Just one of many instances that earned him the eternal bloodline.

He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you?’ This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord’s anointed.'”

1 Samuel 24:9 (NIV)

David’s faithfulness and his haste to repentance when he wasn’t so faithful allowed God to continue to work through him. By continuing to seek the Lord rather than pursue his own desired, God was able to make Israel great and, eventually make a way to save the whole world. David’s obedience and faithfulness to God far outlasted his own lifetime. It spared many generations to follow—all the way to Jesus, who came to save all generations.

Just as David could not fathom all that God had planned for his lineage, we cannot even begin to understand the plans God has for us. We can live in the moment and take the path of least resistance, or we can live for the prize God has set before us.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

That prize that Paul was talking about is our green card, our citizenship in heaven. I can guarantee that there will be opportunities to take the easy way—like Saul in the save before David—but I can also guarantee that there is another way. We can’t know all that God has planned for us and how it will affect the generations to come. But we can trust in His plan and know that it is good.

Read: 1 Samuel 22-24, Luke 16:1-18

The plot

One thing I’ve noticed in reading the New Living Translation is that the Bible reads a lot like a cheesy mystery novel.

“Here comes that dreamer!” They exclaimed. “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into a deep pit. We can tell our father that a wild animal has eaten him. Then we’ll see what becomes of all his dreams!”

Genesis 37:30 (NLT)

Then the Pharisees called a meeting and discussed plans for killing Jesus.

Matthew 12:14 (NLT)

There is a lot of nefarious plotting going on all throughout the Bible. Plotting by bad people and good ones, too. There are good plots and there are bad plots.

In Genesis, we read the story of the young(est – we don’t read how old Joseph was at the time) brother, Joseph. If you’re at all familiar with Genesis, you know that Joseph goes on to pretty much rule Egypt and his family is forced to submit to him in order to survive.

In Matthew, Jesus had the audacity to eat grain and heal a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath day. Gasp! This was, apparently, reason enough to plot His death.

In both cases, both Joseph and Jesus were destined for more. Their stories of salvation had been plotted long before their deaths had been planned. Joseph had dreamed of being in a raised position and his family being made to bow before him. Jesus had been prophesied of back in Isaiah.

Look at my Servant,
whom I have chosen.
He is my Beloved,
and I am very please with him.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nation
He will not fight or shout;
he will not raise his voice in public.
He will not crush those who are weak,
or quench the smallest hope,
until he brings full justice with his final victory.
And his name will be the hope of all the world.

Matthew 12:18-21 (NLT) *see Isaiah 42:1-4

So the next time you feel like you’re stuck in the mystery novel being plotted against, remember this:

“For I know the plans I have for you, “says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

Even if the world is plotting against you, God has already plotted your victory.

Daily Bible reading: Genesis 36-37, Matthew 12:1-21