And The Winner Is …Starla Gunter
My friends and I enjoy watching the Oscars together. We point out our favorite celebrities as they walk the red carpet, taking note of the beautiful (and outrageous) dresses. We watch nominees of our favorite movies wait in anticipation as the envelope is opened, “And the winner is ...” Hearts are still before a winner is chosen, applause follows, and then the acceptance speech begins. Often, recognition is given by the winner to the director or crew, other actors who inspired them, family members, or even God. It is almost understood that the winner will attribute their success to someone else.
- How often do we attribute our victories to our own strength and abilities?
Read the Word
2 Samuel 12:26-31 (ESV)
26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and took the royal city. 27 And Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have fought against Rabbah; moreover, I have taken the city of waters. 28 Now then gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and it be called by my name.” 29 So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah and fought against it and took it. 30 And he took the crown of their king from his head. The weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone, and it was placed on David's head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. 31 And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and iron axes and made them toil at the brick kilns. And thus he did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
- Based on verse 28, whom did Joab want to receive credit for the victory in Rabbah?
- How did Joab display profound humility and honor in his message to David (vss. 27-28)?
- After David captured the royal city, which God had purposed for him to do, what did he gain?
- Think of a time when you were victorious over an obstacle or in the midst of a tough season. What were your initial thoughts or reactions to seeing victory—to whom did you give the credit?
Respond to God
Coming out of a season of sin, David experienced God’s grace and compassion in allowing him to be the one to conquer the royal city. Joab had the opportunity to claim victory for himself, but took the humble approach, knowing the one destined for victory should be the one to claim it. To whom do we direct the glory when we achieve, accomplish, or win? Do we rightfully lay the prize at the feet of our King, or do we polish the trophy and place it on a shelf for all to see? Let us see our victories in light of God’s grace—remembering that “it is God who works in [us], both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). To him be the glory.
- Confess where you have credited a victory or accomplishment to your own strengths or abilities.
- Ask the Lord to create in you a heart that would always seek first his honor and glory.