Christian Living
Recognizing God's Favor
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Jul 8, 2024

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Read 1 Samuel 18:1-30.

David stood before Jonathan, a bit in shock, to say the least. His friend, the prince of Israel and the heir apparent to the throne, had just removed his royal robe and given it to David—the symbol of his princely position. Then he removed his weapons, symbols of his authority and leadership as second-in-command, and his belt, which would have held all his wealth and treasure as a rich, powerful warrior. He willingly and humbly handed them over to his best friend.

Jonathan willingly stepped aside to make room for the man God had chosen.


This humble prince loved the Lord and recognized God's anointing on David. Even though, as Saul's oldest son, he was expected to be next in line to the throne, Jonathan willingly stepped aside to make room for the man God had chosen. It was a tremendous gesture. Given to any other man, it likely would have gone to his head. But not David. He understood that the favor of the king's son was not due to anything he had done; rather, he recognized it as a gift from the hand of God.

Before he had killed Goliath, no one had known David's name. But after that great victory, word spread of this brave young man. In fact, the women in the region wrote a song about David's military prowess. They sang, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands" (1 Samuel 18:7). Hearing that kind of praise from other people didn't affect David. He remained humble. Saul, on the other hand, was enraged and jealous over the people's love for David. Even though David had saved the nation, Saul wanted him dead.

David could've feared Saul, but he didn't. Rather, "Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul" (v. 12). That fear, of course, turned into rage. However, Saul knew he couldn't simply get rid of David, so he sent him into battle to let the Philistines kill him. But each time he sent David to fight, David came back victorious. When you are enlisted in the army of the living God, your Commander-in-Chief will ensure that you are invincible until it's time to come home.

When the Jonathans in your life honor you, don't let it go to your head. The favor is really from the Lord. And when the Sauls in your life try to destroy you, trust that the Lord will protect you. Keep your heart honed on Him, and He will keep you steady during life's ups and downs.

Prayer: Lord, I know You hold my life in Your hands. May I trust You with every breath and seek to draw near to You and to be holy as You are holy. Forgive me for my failings, and empower me to live for You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him" (1 Samuel 18:14).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series A Heart for God: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW