May 22

1 Samuel 18:7-9 (NIV) 7As they danced, they sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." 8Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" 9And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

The green-eyed monster, jealousy, reared its ugly head in the heart of King Saul. On the return from the battlefield, the maidens sang this song. Saul may have been a bit on edge because of Samuel's prediction about the kingdom no longer belonging to him. This song stirred an ugly spirit up in him. He was the one they sang praise about before. Now, someone else is the chief person in the song, and he is credited with more than the king! Be careful with your words of praise for men. The enemy can use them in destructive ways.

"Welcome home pastor. Your assistant did such a great job, we forgot you were gone," a well-meaning board member says. The enemy places a wedge of competition between two people who are striving for the Kingdom of God. If one of them has an ear that will listen to the flesh, they will never be striving together again. Friendly voices have unwittingly sowed the seed of competition. Saul could never look at David the same way again.

There may have been more to it than that. It may have also been backed by the fact that Saul saw in David what he had lost. He saw the love for God and faith in God's word that once was so real to him but now seemed so distant. He saw the humility of this young man and recognized his was gone. Those are the assets that put him on the throne. Those are the assets that make you useful to God. Don't allow words of praise for others cause jealousy in you.

Consider: Rejoice when others pass you up in service to our King. He is the cause we fight for, not self!

May 22

Luke 24:27, 31-32 (NIV) 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

After the resurrection, two of Jesus' disciples were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they walked, Jesus came alongside them and asked why they looked so downcast. They did not recognize Him. They asked Him if He hadn't heard the terrible news about the death of their Master, Jesus.

Then Jesus began with the Law and went on through the prophets teaching them how much was written about the Messiah and what He would endure. They finally understood what redemption really meant. That was probably the best Old Testament survey ever taught. Wouldn't you like to have heard it? (See Jesus in the Old Testament – or the book, Jesus Concealed in the Old Testament)

They pleaded with this man to come and join them for supper. When He broke the bread and prayed, they suddenly recognized that it was Jesus. Then He vanished. Did they say, "Wow, He's alive!"? "Did you see Him disappear?" No! Their comment was on the revelation of Scripture. The Word of God was opened to them. They understood things that they had never seen before, and their hearts burned within them. To have the Scriptures opened to us by the revelation of God causes everything to become clear. We see the big picture and our place in it. We are thrilled with the wisdom and sovereignty of God.

Prayer: Lord, when we open your Word, walk with us, and open our eyes that we might see wonderful things in your law. (Psalms 119:18)