Trouble Follows Triumph

1 Samuel 18:5-9, "And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants. 6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands 8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? 9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward."

1 Samuel 17 is such an exciting chapter. David triumphs over the giant Goliath. David had trusted in the LORD to give him victory over the giant and that is exactly what transpired. But remember, the only spirit that Saul has at this time is an evil spirit. His spirit of jealousy and insecurity cause him not only to become suspicious of David, but produces such anger and rage that he desires to kill David. Matthew Henry reminds us: "David's troubles not only immediately follow his triumphs, but arise from them; such is the vanity of that which seems greatest in this world. It is a sign that the Spirit of God is departed from men, if, like Saul, they are peevish, envious, suspicious, and ill-natured. Compare David, with his harp in his hand, aiming to serve Saul, and Saul, with his javelin in his hand, aiming to slay David; and observe the sweetness and usefulness of God's persecuted people, and the barbarity of their persecutors. But David's safety must be ascribed to God's providence.

Please notice some observations from Matthew Henry's statement:

  • Trouble follows triumph. I have often seen this pattern in life. When one has a spiritual victory, trouble seems most often to follow.

  • Trouble comes through people who aren't filled with God's Spirit. These things sometimes happen because people lack spiritual vision, they aren't team players, or they are filled with pride and jealousy. Saul no longer had the Spirit of God resting upon him, but was filled with an evil spirit.

  • People who are insecure become suspicious of everyone around them.  Our security comes from the Lord. We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). We can't live life for God and enjoy spiritual success if we do what Saul did, "And Saul eyed David from that day and forward." (vs. 9)

May God's Holy Spirit rest upon us in such a way that after Triumph we don't bring Trouble. May we rejoice in every victory we experience, if it be our own, or the victory of another.

Let's rejoice in that we have "Victory in Jesus!"

Your Friend and HIS,

Pastor Abbott


1.  What experiences have you had that would indicate trouble often follows triumph?

2.  Have you experienced relational problems because of people not being filled with the Holy Spirit?  How did you handle the issue?

3.  Do you realize how important is to find your security and acceptance in Jesus Christ?  Are there areas of insecurity that you need to improve?

4.  Have you ever had unwarranted suspicions crop up in your life?  Why did this happen?