Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.
When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”. And from that time on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
The very next day, a tormenting spirit (evil spirit) from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.~I Samuel 18:5-13
David was nothing but a servant. He humbled himself before Saul as his servant, risked his life and defeated Goliath. He went on whatever mission Saul sent him on with great success. Saul was initially pleased with David and gave him a high ranking position in the army.
But with one jealous thought, everything changed! The women gave more credit to David than they gave to Saul as they celebrated Israel’s victory over Goliath. This aroused deep feelings of anger, jealousy, and displeasure within Saul. What was his inner thought? Predictable: “They have credited David with tens of thousands…but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
It is interesting that the spirit of jealousy that surfaced in Saul, invited an evil and tormenting spirit into him as well and Saul began behaving like a madman. He attempted to kill David twice.
Before we jump all over Saul for his jealousy and attempted murder, can we take a moment to reflect over our own reactions when others are faring better than us and are accorded greater recognition? How do you respond when your colleague is promoted over you because he truly deserves it? How do you react when your sibling’s marriage and household is flourishing and yours is struggling? How do you respond when someone else is being blessed in ministry and it seems as though God has put you on the shelf? How do you respond when others are doing well all around and you are struggling to make it from day to day? Do you get jealous?
I am pretty sure most of us have been at the receiving end of a jealous person. A jealous person knows no limit to the extent of destruction and harm he is willing to inflict on his victim. But the sad thing is that jealousy opens you up to an evil and tormenting spirit that would eventually make you behave like a madman because you are so consumed by your desire to destroy your “enemy” that you become irrational in your behavior. If you have thoughts of jealousy, would you repent before it consumes you? Jealousy is very destructive all around.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to search my heart and motives. Help to see if there is any streak of wickedness in me so I can repent before it consumes me. Amen.