GODLINESS with CONTENTMENT is GREAT GAIN
March 26 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 19-21
Even though Saul was the king of Israel and Jonathan was his heir-apparent in line with succeeding him on the throne, God had already appointed David as the next king of Israel. Instead of the Spirit of the Lord, now "the distressing spirit from the Lord came upon Saul" (1 Sam 19:9) that provoked him to jealousy against David. Saul was convinced that as long as David was alive, neither his throne nor his kingdom would be established (1 Sam 20:31). Even though David was good towards Saul risking his own life to fight Goliath on behalf of Israel, Saul was bent upon killing David as he was afraid of David (1 Sam 18:12). Saul told his son Jonathan and his servants that they should kill David (1 Sam 19:1), sent messengers to David’s house to kill him (1 Sam 19:11), and even threw a spear at David in order to kill him (1 Sam 18:10-11). Saul’s goal was to guard his throne and power at any cost.
Saul chose jealousy against God’s will, while his son Jonathan chose obedience to God’s plan and friendship with David over jealousy. Though Jonathan did not take over the throne from his father, he was content with his situation as he had peace in his heart and had his priorities straight.
In Phil 4:11-12, Apostle Paul says that he has learned the secret of remaining content despite either plenty or poverty. His secret was that he was ready for anything through the strength of the One who lived inside him. Contentment is not found in circumstances, wealth, pleasures or fame. Contentment is found in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In her book Diamonds in the Dust, Joni Eareckson Tada has mentioned the following: ‘It requires a special act of grace to accommodate ourselves to every condition of life, to carry an equal temper of mind through every circumstance. On the one hand, only in Christ can we face poverty contentedly, that is, without losing our comfort in God. On the other hand, only in Christ can we face plenty and not be filled with pride’. She has recorded a beautiful prayer in this subject as well: ‘Lord, there are many things I desire, but I really don’t need. Subtract my desires and keep me from adding my own wants. Help me to find satisfaction in You, for only then will I find real and lasting contentment.’
Let us clearly understand that "godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim 6:6). "A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked" (Psalms 37:16). Let our conduct be without covetousness - let us be content with the things we have - for He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb 13:5)