“As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.’” 1 Sam. 18:7
Imagine with me a system of government where you choose who you want and they actually win. Imagine their competitor feeling so terse about their victory that they insult the people by suggesting that they got the count wrong, or seek to harm the winner. It would appear at first glance that I am speaking of modern-day America; but I am not. I am actually referring to one of the most pivotal power changes in history.
Saul was a man who came from an undeniable family pedigree. He only knew wealth and prominence, and if magazines were around at that time, he would have been on the cover of all of them. He was the expectation; he looked the part of a king. And so Israel decided that he should be their king. David, on the other hand, was a child prodigy, man of war, and born leader. His first meeting with Saul revealed all of these things, when he ministered music to soothe the mad king. David became an apprentice and mentee for this king and learned underneath him. Until David began to be himself…
Israel went out to battle and, naturally, they won. For miles and miles all that was to be heard were the cheers of Israel’s victory. The details, however, seemed to stir controversy. The details suggested that the king was really, really good; but David was better. While in a parade, Saul could hear women going on and on about how he slew thousands, but David did more. This infuriated the king even more and from that day forward he sought measures to kill his mentee.
Have you ever faced the conflict of glass ceilings? Have you ever seen a mad king? I want to help you in your process of forgiveness. Saul was mad. It was one of the first adjectives used to describe him, actually. The pressures of popularity in a position you know that you aren’t qualified for can be detrimental to the peace of a man. If the people put you in position, gossip matters. Slander matters. Popularity matters. But when you know who you are and live that unapologetically, you may be confronted with a mad king. A mad king cannot control himself because he lives under the scrutiny of winning all the time.
What he didn’t know was that David’s compliment was also a compliment to his mentorship. It was a compliment to his whole house, and for that matter, the whole kingdom. But Saul could not see that. David learned quickly to honor the office, even if the person holding the office is dishonorable. David learned that someone not liking you does not break you. David learned that spears thrown at you don’t just make you a target, but rather, a warrior at training. Lastly, David learned that you cannot ever be an effective integral leader if you kill the preceding leader. We all have seen our fair share of Sauls. America has seen its fair share of Sauls. The order of the day is to taunt, scold, or make fun of sore losers. But one of the fruit of the spirit is patience. When we learn this fruit, we endure while upholding, and refrain while not rebutting. How has your Saul annoyed you in the last few weeks? Have you found yourself doing more arguing than praying? Have you seen more opinions than Word? You may be in position to be Saul. You see, if David replied to Sauls anger, he becomes the next Saul. You become what you do; so David had to use more discretion and discipline to trust the timing of God than the words and actions of men.
My hope and help for you is that once you see them, you don’t retaliate with fear. Let them recount the opinions over and over. You simply be steadfast in being the best you that you can be. After all, kings are consistent. The only report card you will need to measure to is the one given in Holy scriptures. If you are a David, your time is coming! How will you answer!