Read 1 Samuel 18-19
“And from that time on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.” 1 Samuel 18:9
What a change from when David was simply playing his harp for Saul. Read 16:21. Initially, Saul ‘liked David very much’ and made him one of his armor-bearers. But apparently he didn’t really remember who David was until after he killed Goliath. It was hard to ignore him then – especially when he succeeded in other battles. So Saul felt he had to give him a high rank in the army (18:5).
All was well and good until the people started comparing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands (v 7).” Saul was ‘galled’ and ‘very angry’ and ‘afraid of David’ (vv 8,12,15). ‘From that time on, he kept a jealous eye on David’ (v9). He let his jealousy take root and tried to kill David with his spear twice (11). Then he sent David off to war in hopes that the Philistines would kill him (vv 13,17). Then he tells his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David (19:1). Does he seem obsessed, perhaps? Just a little? 🙂
Verse 29 says, “When Saul realized that the LORD was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, Saul became still more afraid of him and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.”
Everyone loves David. He’s the ‘beloved’ – loved by Jonathan (18:1), the women (v 6), all Israel and Judah (v 16), then even Saul’s daughter, and God (v 28). And all Saul can ask himself is, “What about me? Aren’t I amazing as well? Wasn’t I chosen as the first king of Israel?”
Don’t you feel a little sorry for Saul? Did God love him still? I’d say, yes- God’s love is unconditional and for everyone. But . . . relationship with God is not. Relationships are conditional. Since Saul rejected the LORD’s word (not for the first time either) – the LORD rejected him as king. (15:23). Saul could have been inspired by David’s love for God and the favor that following Him brought. Instead he ‘kept a jealous eye’ on him.
Do you, like me, ever do this to yourself? Do you feel like you don’t measure up, like you’re not good enough? And do you ever look around and say – that person is loved more than me? As twins, people compared Laura and I all the time. One person said, “You know how I can tell who is who? Laura is the one with the pretty face.” That person’s words could have settled in and hurt but he was boy in grade 3 or 4 so I didn’t mind. It just became a cute story. But – being compared by people whose opinions matter to you can lead to jealousy. Jealousy left unchecked can become an ugly obsession. We are loved of God – let’s let that be enough. Let us love Him back with undivided devotion that shows in our actions.