1 Samuel 29-30 – How Well Do You Get Along With Others?

You can’t please everyone. No matter how hard you try, someone is not going to like something you’ve said or done.

But David was a man who seemed to be able to get along with a wide variety of people. In 1 Samuel chapters 29 and 30, we see David masterfully developing trust and good relations with a wide variety of often opposing groups.

In chapter 29, David earns the trust and respect of the Philistine king. (1 Samuel 29:6,9)

In chapter 30

  • David rallies the very men who, earlier, were so upset with him they were ready to kill him.
  • David is able to enlist an Amalekite slave who had previously destroyed David’s village.
  • David becomes a mediator for his men when they are in the midst of a disagreement.
  • David endears himself to the leaders of his home country…even though that country had run him out of town and tried to kill him.

How does he do it? How does Dave foster trust and loyalty among others…many of whom are enemies to him and each other?

First, David built relationships by showing kindness and respect to others. But more important than his relationship with others was his relationship with God…

  • When David didn’t know what to do, he turned to God for insight and answers. (1 Samuel 23:2,4,6,9,11,12.)
  • When David encountered unfair treatment, he trusted God to right the wrongs and ensure justice. (1 Samuel 24:12,15)
  • When David was discouraged and demoralized, he found his strength and hope in God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

David was submissive and obedient to God, and God made him wise and discerning…which, in turn, strengthened his relationships and interactions with others.

Do you have trouble getting along with people? If so, check your submission and obedience to God. This is always the starting place for great relationships…and great endeavors.

Ruth 3-4 – Relationships Should be a Two-Way Street

Note: If you’re not familiar with the story of Ruth, I encourage you to read the book of Ruth before reading further. At least read Ruth 3-4. You’ll be glad you did!

A relationship should be a two-way street.

In Ruth chapter 3, Ruth (at the encouragement of Naomi) pursues Boaz. It was important that she do so, because though Boaz had shown his heart by caring for Ruth and going the extra mile to provide for her, Ruth needed to show that she too was interested in and desirous of him.

Then, in Ruth chapter 4, Boaz aggressively pursues Ruth by masterfully making the proper arrangements to secure Ruth for himself; (even though she was a foreigner and had nothing to contribute to his estate.)

That’s how relationship should work. They should go both ways.

This is a great love story, but it’s more than just a love story between Ruth and Boaz. It’s a picture of the love story Jesus seeks with us! Jesus is our Boaz. The One who desires to secure our future through His provision and protection. Even before we demonstrate interest in Him, He cares for us, provides for us, and has His workers show favor toward us.

But there comes a time when we must actively show our desire and commitment to Him. For a love story is only complete when both partners are responding. A relationship should be a two-way street. (James 4:8)

And just a side note…it was the two-way relationship between Ruth and Boaz that eventually brought King David (the giant slayer) and King Jesus (the sin slayer) into the world. Imagine what your two-way relationship with Christ and with others might do!

Deuteronomy 30 – The Choice Is Yours

Choice. It’s both wonderful and scary. Choice is always there and always available. From the dawn of creation until this very moment, choice has been the canvas on which life is painted. Choice is both the common denominator and the wild card of life.

It’s amazing that God would entrust us with the privilege, power, possibility, and unpredictability of choice. The fact that the God of order would allow us to choose speaks volumes about both His extensive power and love.

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Deuteronomy 13 – Anything Other Than Devoted Exclusivity

Funny thing about marriage…it needs devoted exclusivity to survive. Marriage can survive all types of problems and upheavals, but it cannot survive if a spouse continues to share his or hear devotion with someone else.

Funny thing about a relationship with God…it needs devoted exclusivity to survive. A relationship with God can survive all types of problems and upheavals, but it cannot survive if a person continues to share their devotion with anyone or anything else.

This is what Deuteronomy chapter 13 is telling us. God must come first! He alone can be God in our life. He alone deserves our highest devotion; (even over our spouse and our children.) He will not share the throne of our life with anything or anyone else. And any attempt to get Him to do so will cause us to forfeit the closeness, intimacy, and trust we had with Him.

We allow so many things to fragment our devotion to God. But allowing anything else to hold the place that only God should hold in our life is an act of betrayal and infidelity on our part, and will create a serious breach in our relationship with God. Anything other than devoted exclusivity to God hurts our relationship with God.

May we examine our life and ask, “Are there any other gods in my life?”