What is success?
It is relative to each person and their aspirations. History has shown us that some aspirations are monumental in changing the world for the better while others have destroyed cultures, lands, and liberties.
Some ambitions just fall short of accomplishment, and that can sometimes be ok.
World War II, June 22, 1940 France surrenders to Germany, after Germany has subdued much of Europe, sending millions of Jews to their death.
Britain was in the scope of Nazi Germany for invasion, and on July 16th, 1940 Adolf Hitler announced he would be ready to set sail for invasion the next month.
Although Britain had been defeated previously on foreign soil, they refused to surrender when defending their homeland from Nazi invasion.
Imagine how different Britain would have been if Nazi Germany would have had a successful invasion of Britain.
Imagine how different Germany would be if they had not violated the 1939 non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union just two years after signing it.
Historically, successes and achievements have been harmful, and some failures have been a near miss to a completely different world.
In the Old Testament book of Exodus, Egypt is a superpower of the world and has been successful at subjecting the Hebrews to harsh slavery and the genocide of their infants in order to keep the Hebrews from becoming a strong nation that would be a threat to Egypt.
Pharaoh was successful yet, his success did not measure up to the likeness of a God who despised what Pharaoh did to the Hebrews, and despised that Pharaoh saw himself as a god, worthy of comparison to deity or even higher than deity.
“Let my people go!” God tells Pharaoh through the mouth of a man named Moses in Exodus 5:1.
“Who is this God that I should listen to Him?” Pharaoh responds in Exodus 5:2.
God had been known by previous Pharaohs who welcomed the Hebrews and were well aware of the blessing that God provides and the successes God provides. This can all be found in the book of Genesis which comes before Exodus.
Success and achievement and how we measure them is not always harmful or evil. Success is harmful when it works against God and the morals he holds man to.