Success is Guaranteed If God be with Us
1 Chronicles 11:9
So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.

It is stated that David "waxed greater and greater," but we are not left in any uncertainty as to the real source of his prosperities. We are not permitted to limit our vision to merely favourable circumstances or unusual talents. The secret will go into a sentence: "The Lord of hosts was with him." The introduction may be an account of the importance to David of securing the naturally impregnable city of Jebus for his capital; and of the energy with which both he and Joab set about fortifying and building and firmly consolidating the kingdom. There was an abundance of human energy.

I. THE OPEN AND APPARENT REASONS FOR HUMAN SUCCESS. We can so easily see - or fancy that we see - how they are due to human forces, such as exceptional talents; marvellous energy, such as that of the tradesman in Chicago, who raised a hut of the singed logs from his burnt warehouse, and put on it this sign, "All gone, save wife, children, and energy;" or a perseverance that will not yield to any hindrances or difficulties, that glories in triumphing over obstacles. Sometimes we say that success is due to a happy combination of circumstances, or good luck. And it does seem as if circumstances could favour individuals. Asaph, in the olden time, puzzled over the prosperity that seems to come so freely to bad men. And we may, with perfect propriety and full consistency with right religious feelings, recognize that human success is, as a rule, the appropriate reward of talent, and faculty, and perseverance, and good judgment. Success cannot be guaranteed as' the response to these; but it is their ordinary and natural result, the proper issue toward which they tend. And even from our Christian standpoint, we properly urge a careful attention to all those ordinary conditions on which the prosperity of life depends. It is quite true that "the blessing of the Lord maketh rich; but it is also true that the blessing comes as a gracious using and sanctifying of all right and worthy human endeavour. God will give his best to no man unless the man will do his best. God blesses no man's idleness and no man's thoughtlessness. We may lay on God's altar for acceptance only our best possible.


1. Divine permission. God may withhold success. He may know that, in particular cases, it would not be the best thing; so "if the Lord will" must tone our very desire to win earthly prosperities.

2. Divine presence and blessing. "The Lord of hosts was with him," not only in the sense of giving his presence and gracious help, but in the further sense of approving his schemes and aiding in their accomplishment. Of the first kind of Divine presence we may be always assured. Of the second kind we can be assured only when we so fully hold ourselves open to the Divine love and lead that what we plan and purpose is only and exactly what the Lord would have us do. Still, we must realize that, for us, our true life-success may not be that which we fashion for ourselves; it can only be that which God fashions for us. We may be a long time finding out what God's success for us is. And it is so often difficult for us to read it aright and under- stand it worthily, because it often has this subtlety in it - God holds within it a design of personal culture, and that he counts to be the very highest form of life- success. The great thing to win is the "holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.

WEB: David grew greater and greater; for Yahweh of Armies was with him.

God's Favour Helpful to Prosperity
Top of Page
Top of Page