Behold, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; so the LORD has given my lord the king vengeance this day on Saul and his descendants. — 2 Samuel 4:8

Recab and Baanah were raiders who were valuable warriors for King Saul. After Saul died, these men tried to win David’s favor by assassinating Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son. They thought this would clear the way for David to be king. They fully expected David to be pleased and to reward them.

But to David, Ish-bosheth was not a rival, but “a righteous man” and God’s anointed. David had these “wicked men” executed for their crime (v. 11). He didn’t live by their rules.

These raiders show the extent to which some people go to get ahead. In the world around us, we see people willing to do just about anything to get results. They will lie or cheat. Deceive, distort, and spread rumors. In every situation, we need to remember, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

The world may encourage you to believe that the end justifies the means, and you can do anything to accomplish your goals. But remember that God is watching you. He has higher standards. He has given you His Word. And He promises to reward you if you obey Him, please Him, serve Him.

Make sure that you first seek His Kingdom. Obey His Word and live by His principles. Pray for others in the body of Christ. Don’t think of them as rivals but as brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Think and pray
Go to the loving Father and ask Him if there is anything currently in your life that is below the highest standards that God is calling you to live by. Confess and pray.

Father, free me from a spirit of competition. Help me to focus on Your Kingdom. I submit my life to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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