After David’s great feat with Goliath, King Saul kept David with him at the palace. He continued to play the harp for Saul. Also—
Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people and Saul’s officers as well. I Samuel 18:5
All is well, BUT, when the soldiers return from battle, women come from all the towns of Israel with their tambourines and flutes.
As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” I Samuel 18:7
This little song smacks Saul right between the eyes. Jealousy whirls up in his red face.
“What more can he get but the kingdom?” he thought. And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
Jealousy gone unchecked spirals down. It leads to anger and anger to rage. The next day, David is playing his harp for Saul.
Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice. I Samuel 18:10-11
Then we read of another negative emotion.
Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David but had left Saul. I Samuel 18:12
So Saul figures, okay, I’ll just send him to fight more Philistines. Maybe they’ll finally get him.
When that doesn’t work he tells his attendants and his son Jonathan to kill him. Bad idea for Saul. He doesn’t seem to realize that Jonathan and David have become good friends. In fact, Jonathan has pledged his loyalty to David and made a covenant with him, realizing that David should be the next king rather than himself, the son.
David finds out about the command to have him killed and thus begins the big chase which we will look at next week.
This gives a perfect lesson in how damaging negative emotions can be. For Saul, it started with jealousy. The double whammy? It’s coupled with fear. Fear of losing his kingship. So fear and jealousy easily lead to anger, to rage, and to attempted murder.
In Galatians, before Paul gets to the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, he gives a whole litany of negative emotions and acts.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft: hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
“Worry” isn’t in this list, but I think it is one of my greatest failings. I like the quote I read this week by Corrie Ten Boom—
“Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Jealousy and fear could fit in place of “worry” in this quote. Let us be diligent not to deplete our strength!
~ Joyce ~