In chapter 9 of 1 Samuel, we are introduced to Israel’s first king. This is what we learn about him: “There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward, he was taller than any of the people.” Tall, dark (probably), and handsome! Suited to be the national hero in every way. We also know that Kish, his father, is a man of great wealth, so we can add “rich” to the description. He becomes Israel’s first king, so we can also add “famous” to the description. What a way to start out life! He had it all.

We, the common people of the world, will often look at Hollywood celebrities or sports idols as having it all. They have big houses, cars, and bank accounts. The news media always want to know what they think about current issues. I’m not sure what qualifies someone who acts to have profound insights into political issues, but we like to hear what they think. They have everything. King Saul seemed to have it all, also.

We often look at the rich, attractive, and famous people as having everything while we have little. But everyone is born with the absolute same chance of happiness and contentment in life. Tall, dark, handsome, rich, and famous add nothing to our prospects. As a matter of fact, they often cause the most pain and misery. I’ve always loved E. A Robinson’s poem, Richard Cory.

WHENEVER Richard Cory went downtown,

We people on the pavement looked at him:

He was a gentleman from sole to crown,

Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,

And he was always human when he talked;

But still he fluttered pulses when he said,

“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich,—yes, richer than a king,—

And admirably schooled in every grace:

In fine, we thought that he was everything

To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,

And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;

And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet through his head.

I can think of many during my lifetime that did what Richard Corey did. There’s Marilyn Monroe. No other woman had what she had. There was the original Superman, George Reeves. There were many others that took the Richard Corey road. Saul, After his many character failures, disobedience to God, and attempts to murder David, Saul ends his own life with his own sword. I think Ben Franklin said, “Contentment makes poor men rich while discontent makes rich men poor.”