The Solicitude of Success
2 Samuel 7:18-19
Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house…

Through the lips of Nathan David had received from God a personal message of the greatest moment. Then the king went in and sat before the Lord, breaking out into the language of the text, which is of the nature of an expostulation. He did not receive the message as one he had a right to expect; he expresses no exultation, only surprise and solicitude; his soul was troubled by his rare fortune, troubled as men generally are by disaster. But is not this a common experience of sincere and devout souls? They are humbled rather than elated by the honours they receive; the praises lavished upon them and their doings surprise and chasten them; their unlooked-for riches excite in their heart a troubled wonder; their specially happy lot seems so far in excess of what they might reasonably expect that they dare hardly realise it; their exceptional health, affluence, promotion, or felicity gives them from time to time a sense of positive uneasiness and painfulness. "Who am I, O Lord God, and what: is my house, that thou hast brought me thus far?" It may seem paradoxical to say so, but in deep, true souls disappointment and disaster often cause less anxiety and questioning than is occasioned by brilliant success. We know what we are, we know the errors, sins, and general unworthiness which have marked our career, and we cannot understand our good fortune; we suspect that we are being lifted up to be cast down; we are perturbed by a secret fear lest these windfalls and triumphs may in one way or other precipitate our ruin, as superior beauty is often fatal to birds and flowers; and we conceive the dread lest these earthly successes may only aggravate our doom as the good things of Dives did. Who am I, and what is my house, that I should be so distinguished? Yet this is the right spirit in which to accept accessions of wealth and social distinctions and joys. It is a far truer temper than to regard our luck as the reward of our merit, and to boast ourselves in our good fortune. To recognise our demerit, and to acknowledge that riches and honours are God's free gifts, is the true attitude towards worldly advancement and advantage. But at the same time we must not permit morbid feeling to blind us to the graciousness of God, and to rob us of the sweetness of His gifts. Let us then learn to trust God in His bright providences as we do in His dark ones, and to take His richest gifts without suspicion or misgiving. It is a fine trait in the Christian character when we can fill high places and enjoy goodly things in the spirit of unquestioning trust and appreciation. After the king had humbled himself before God because of these extraordinary favours, he concludes: "And what can David say more unto Thee? for Thou knowest Thy servant, O Lord God. For Thy word's sake, and according to Thine own heart, hast Thou wrought all this greatness to make Thy servant know it." The suspicious, ascetic spirit is not the highest mood of life.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?

WEB: Then David the king went in, and sat before Yahweh; and he said, "Who am I, Lord Yahweh, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?

The Grateful Monarch
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