Quick, name the toughest test to pass spiritually. Did you say, “Disease”? Did you say, “The death of a loved one”? Did you say, “Troubles?” Did you say, “Disappointment”? Well, there’s no doubt that none of those tests are spiritual gimmes, but would you believe that for many people the correct answer would be, “Prosperity”?
King David was such a person. When he was a young man, he was enough of a spiritual wonder that God Himself rated him as a man after God’s own heart. David was most likely still in his teens when he was anointed by the prophet Samuel as the king of Israel. Not long afterward he brought comfort to the demon-tormented Saul, the sitting king, by playing soothing music on the harp. Then came the day when he famously slew the Philistine giant, Goliath. David was on a spiritual roll!
Unfortunately, however, David killing Goliath caused King Saul to become insanely jealous of him, and that began a period of many years wherein Saul tried to kill David. Those were hard years for David, years which saw him and his band of followers living in constant hiding from Saul and his troops. Was David’s behavior perfect and above reproach during those years? No, not by a long shot. But was he always God’s man, a man whose basic spiritual center was right? Yes. And David remained that way all the way up through those years on the run, Saul’s death, David’s ascendency to the throne of Judah (the southern part of Israel), and his ascendency to the throne of all Israel seven years later.
What happened next? Oh, the story keeps getting better. As king of the land, David unified Israel’s fiercely independent twelve tribes and led Israel’s army in the conquering of Jerusalem. Then he expanded Jerusalem and built it into his capital city. A major part of that was him bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. We can truthfully say that, during those days, David’s decisions were spot on. Additionally, his army was unbeatable, all the people loved him, and God was pouring out His favor upon him. God even made a covenant with him that David’s royal line would be established forever.
You see, after all those years of struggling to formally claim his anointing as king and make the nation of Israel the greatest and most godly nation on earth, David had now “arrived.” His life was just as he wanted it to be. Overall, he had remained true to God during all his troubles and now he was living in a season of major prosperity.
Tragically, though, the next story from David’s life is the one about him having a one-night-stand with Bathsheba, the wife of one of David’s most loyal soldiers, Uriah. That one-night-stand resulted in Bathsheba getting pregnant and David then indirectly having Uriah killed and hastily marrying her to prevent a royal scandal. You see, David emphatically failed the test of prosperity.
Noted pastor Chuck Swindoll has said, “When testing comes we get purified, but when prosperity comes we get vulnerable.” How true. So tell me, is your life looking pretty good these days? Are you enjoying more ease, comfort, and worldly blessing than you have ever known? Would you call it a season of prosperity for you? Then you’d better put in extra effort to stay on top of your game spiritually. If you don’t, you might just go the way of David by forgetting the Lord in the midst of all that prosperity!