Scripture Read: I Samuel 17 - 18
Title: Saul's Jealousy of David
(H) Highlight verse: "Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul" I Samuel 18:12
(E) Explain: Today's reading is a very familiar storu. It is safe to say that the story of David and Goliath has been told numerous times in Sunday school, at bedtime and from the pulpt. Instead of recapping a story we all are quite familiar with I would like to look at the events that transpire after the slaying of the giant.
David was appointed overseer of the men of war by King Saul. However, problems began to arise as jealousy begins to take root in the heart of Saul. He hears that the people are praising David for his conquests and this angers Saul greatly. Not only does this make him angry, but he begin to be afraid (we read three times in chapter 18 that he was afraid). Why was he afraid? He was afrand because the LORD was with David and not with Saul. I would think this would have made Saul happy since you would want your number one right hand man walking with the LORD, right? Apparently now, Saul was afraid because he knew David was walking with the LORD and he was not. Saul knew that David was on the uprising because God was with him and Saul was heading for a downfall because the LORD was not with him. This created a problem for Saul because he wanted the glory for himself. This is usually the root of jealousy. Saul is concerned because the people saw God working in David and not in him and this meant the people were losing faith in his leadership and ability to be King over Israel.
(A) Application: Jeaousy is hard thing to deal with. I find it hard to believe a person could be jealous of another persons spiritual growth and success. I am in the "business" of promoting and helping people grow, so spiritual jealousy is almost a foreign concept to me. Unfortunately spiritual jealousy is a problem in the Christianity. The problem arises when people are not walking with the LORD and they see others walking and growing this makes them mad. Why is this so? They may not realize it at the time, but their anger is actually rooted in jealousy. We read in scripture that dark and light cannot coincide and this is what is happening in Saul with David. Saul is living in darkness, the Spirit has left him, and David is walking in the light, the Spirit is with him and this tension makes for a recipe for spiritual jealousy. The problem is not David and his spirituality, but it is Saul and his lack of spirituality. This holds true for us today. If someone is critical of your growing relationship with God, he/she is not jealous because of something you have done, but it is more often a reflection of that persons relationship with God. Jesus has assured those of us who follow him that when people oppose, persecute, or hate us it will not be because of us and what we have done, but the oppositions and jealousy will be rooted in them seeing the growing relationship we have with Jesus Christ.
(R) Respond: LORD, I know that when I face spiritual jealousy, criticism and opposition for doing the right thing I tend to get frustrated and run down. Help me to remember at all times that what I am doing is right and it is for your Kingdom and that is all that matters.
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