By Not Known
No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. (Ps 75:6-7)
Generally, it is easy for us to be empathetic towards those who are in a miserable or unfortunate state. We want to support and help them while thanking God that we are not in the situation they are in. On the other hand, it is difficult for us to rejoice with a friend who is more successful and capable than we are, be it in academic pursuit, professional work or even in ministry. Instead of rejoicing with him or her, jealousy or even hatred sets in, for we have always been thinking we are better than he or she.
King Saul had this same attitude. When the people danced and sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands”, it displeased him greatly, as he thought he should receive all the credit and praises instead of David. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” From that moment on, Saul watched David closely, and tried all means to kill him.
Today’s scripture text teaches us that one’s exaltation or promotion comes from the Lord. No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.
Doesn’t this remind us of the stories of Daniel and Joseph? God was the One who exalted and promoted them. No matter how hard we try or use whatever means we have to exalt ourselves, our best efforts will come to nothing if God does not exalt us because every success comes from the Lord.
What is the secret of David, Joseph and Daniel, then, in finding success in their lives? The answer is, GOD WAS WITH THEM (see 1 Samuel 16:13; Gen 39:2; and Dan 1:9). The Lord was with them because they had a sincere heart, and they always tried to please God by living a holy life. They placed God as their first priority in their lives and honoured God more than anything else. ‘For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless’ (Ps 84:11). Besides, in the case of David, whenever he was rebuked by God for his sins, David always repented genuinely.
As a believer, and even more so for those of us who serve God, we are not to seek our exaltation or promotion by using any ungodly means as how worldly people do. We have to trust God completely because He is the One who decides whom He wants to exalt, and He is the One who has the power to do so.
Let us then, not have any ulterior motive in our service to God, in the role that He has placed us in and entrusted to us, be it in church or in the corporate world or wherever we are. Hatred, jealousy and vengeance have no place in our service to Him, for they will only lead us to sin and bring us destruction.