"It happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing to meet King Saul with tambourines, with joy and with musical instruments. The women sang as they played and said "Saul has slain his thousands, and David, his ten thousands." Then Saul became very angry for this saying displeased him. - 1 Samuel 18:6-8a
NOW the bully of a giant is dead... What's next? It is time to celebrate ... and celebrate they did. It also was time to reflect. If there is a precious gift for us today as readers of the records of biblical history, it is availing of the golden opportunity to reflect! 1 Samuel chapter 18:1-17, records a collection of events which happened after the giant was slain. There was the beautiful friendship between Jonathan and David; the envy of Saul over the popularity of David; David's unstoppable success, because God was with Him. It also gave us a chance to see what life was like inside the palace. Beyond the veneer of power and elegance is the tense atmosphere of an unending quest for power. Do not forget the venom of envy in the heart of a God-rejected King.
On top of these, this chapter contains a lot of warnings which we are to avoid. It shows potential but subtle pitfalls... venerable traps deftly laid out for the giant-slayers... potential mistakes that giant-slayers can make. If not avoided, such mistakes will quickly turn into painful realities which we would have to face for the rest of our lives. Let me give you my personal list of the potential mistakes of a giant-slayer. Read, reflect, and reconsider your spiritual path:
1. Giant-slayers are alert when fighting giants in the battlefield, yet, are so naive in discerning politicians in the palace... quick to see the peril of the giant... slow to see the perils of power.
2. Proximity to the palace and the perks of being powerful slowly cloud one’s nearness to God.
3. Forgetting that it is in Obscurity that God trains the ordinary to do the extra-ordinary.
4. Intimacy with God nurtures authenticity of spirit but flirting with popularity makes one settle for superficiality. Power-addicted people are incapable of intimacy in relationships.
5. Unwise acceptance of favors from the powerful which are subtle snares that sear conscience and corrupts convictions... resulting in many foolish choices that unimaginably hurts a lot of people, beginning with the ones you say you love.
6. Looking for praises from people who are not reliable sources of spiritual depth. It is an opiate that paralyzes our focus on God and our walk of faith.
Take serious note of these potential mistakes before they become painful realties that will last a lifetime. Bow before God in desperation—asking God to save us from ourselves!
Thanks for reading... I always write straight from my heart!
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 07, 2017.
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