1 Samuel 18: What are you jealous about?
The family of Saul divides over David. Jonathan, Saul’s son, becomes closest friends with David. Saul himself is of two opinions concerning David. On the one hand, he is happy for David’s victories, and so promotes him to a high rank in the army. On the other hand, Saul is jealous of David’s success.
Saul’s jealousy is triggered by the song of the women who greet the returning victors of Israel, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” This is great irony here, since Saul was not willing to fight Goliath himself but was more than willing for David to fight. Indeed, it again is fear that controls Saul, in this case fear of David’s popularity and success. His fear shows itself in two attempts to murder David while he is actually serving Saul by playing the harp.
It is impossible to hear the voice of God when we are listening to our own fears and jealousies. By comparing ourselves with others, we (like Saul) run the risk of evil spirits turning our hearts and actions to jealousy, hatred, and even murder.
Would you be willing to take a minute to pause and visualize in your mind someone you are jealous of? If you are not willing to consider this, ask yourself why not. If you are willing and you can fairly quickly imagine someone you are jealous of, what is your next step in resolving that jealousy. Jealousy leads to hatred, murderous thoughts, even the desire to harm others. Jealousy of people different from us, ethnic groups “invading” our land and taking our hard-earned resources and benefits, leads to hateful actions.
God of love, give us humility and keep us from jealousy.
DR. GARY HOLLOWAY
Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway.