The Fruits of Jealousy

I'm sorry for a week of no posts. I was quite ill last week and sitting at my computer was not going to happen. But I am back and still in love with this stories of David. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Blessings!

1 Samuel 18:6-16
6As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” 8And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9And Saul eyed David from that day on. 10The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. 11And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice. 12Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. 15And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.

David has defeated the Philistine giant, Goliath. That puts David on everyone’s radar, especially King Saul’s. The people are loving this young warrior and Saul is learning how to hate him. The rest of this story takes over 10 years to play out, but it is one of drama and intrigue.

Saul succumbs to the evil spirit sent by God and allows his great fear of a teenager to motivate his actions. As we read these words, it is clear they describe a man who is slowly becoming unhinged. The nation’s hero is now a target for Saul’s spear. And since Saul’s aim isn’t very good, he does the next thing he can think of to rid himself of David. He sends him to the front lines of the battles with Philistia, where David doesn’t die, but excels. Saul is beginning to realize that David is God’s choice for the next king. The only answer is to kill him.

Lest we consider Saul too harshly, it is time to turn that mirror toward our own faces. Has there ever been time in your life where jealousy has inspired evil thoughts or even actions? Hatreds spring up unbidden and we can choose to entertain them or cast them aside. Maybe jealousy isn’t a part of your make-up. As I ponder that idea of jealousy, a word from the 10 Commandments pops into mind – covetousness. That is when I want something God has not intended for me to have, but has given to another. A synonym for covet is jealous. He warns us explicitly that jealousy is to be avoided for it is sin.

Saul has found himself consumed by jealousy. (I think there may have been a little bit of mental illness in there too, as others have suggested.) But he does not put it aside. Instead he nurses it and gives is full power to control him. He could have decided to be a good king and let life be peaceful. He does not. David will be forced to flee for his life.

Jesus died for the sin of jealousy just as He did all the others. So we are forgiven. But maybe we don’t have to ruled by jealousy either. Let God be the only jealous on in the room, for His is a jealousy after our love.