A Few Crumbs
“Does it seem to you a light thing to be a king’s son-in-law, seeing I am a poor and lightly esteemed man?”
1 Samuel 18: 23
Saul had offered Michal, his daughter, in marriage to David. In exchange, he asked for loyalty and courage in fighting Israel’s enemies. In reality Saul was disenchanted with David since the crowds had sung of the “tens of thousands” David slew, whilst only ascribing “thousands” to King Saul.
Insecurity in our hearts always leads to defensiveness and self-centeredness in our actions. Saul was wise; rather, he was shrewd enough to realize that he should not be seen to do anything to impair David’s status and standing in Israel. However, as much as he could, he would try to organize circumstances so that David’s life was put at risk. Hence the unusual dowry that was required for his daughter Michal, one hundred Philistine foreskins. Becoming the son of a king was a bloody and costly business.
To the invitation to marry Michal, and notwithstanding the praises and adulation of the crowds, notwithstanding the felling of Goliath, David still recognized his own low estate. The honour and privilege associated with becoming the king’s son-in-law was never to be treated lightly. His achievements did not entitle him to nobility.
Two things stand out: his low estimation of himself, and the esteem attached to becoming part of the King’s family. Many in today’s churches have lost what David had. We have a too high estimation of ourselves. Oh, we will never say as much, but our attitudes of entitlement, the ease with which we are offended, and the speed, with which we become disgruntled and withdraw from Church involvement, should be warning lights to our own souls that all is not well. Secondly, we are too quick to criticize and fault-find about all and sundry associated with God and His people. The church is not made up of saints but of people who know how far they are from being so.
Paul understood his calling, describing himself as a bondservant (the lowest form of servant) for the gospel. He relinquished all that he had, and could have, for the gospel’s advance. He realized Christ’s calling was much bigger, more important than his own interests. Paradoxically, in dying to self he found the greatest of freedoms. He felt free to die or live, to enjoy bounty or little, to endure trials or victories. He knew the love of God that tied him securely to his Saviour.
However, Paul is not our model though he serves as a good one. We look to Him, Jesus, who made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a servant, so that those who had no reputation and did not even deserve to be servants in God’s kingdom, might become sons and daughters of the living God.
Never ever be ashamed or embarrassed of being a Christian. Your integration into His family was at the cost of far more than 100 Philistines; it was at the cost of the life of the only perfect One to have ever graced this planet. You have been made valuable, not because of yourself, but because of the price that was paid for you!
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