March 11, 2023 - 1 Samuel 18-19
“And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him” (18:5), but Saul was jealous and he “eyed David from that day on” (18:9). Jealousy is a terrible sin. “Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him” (18:12). Jealousy can easily lead to incapacitating fear.
Years ago, when reading these chapters, a thought came to me, which I had never had. I wrote about it: “And when Saul saw that [David] had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. . . . Then said Saul to David . . . ‘be valiant for me and fight the Lord’s battles.’ For Saul thought, ‘Let not my hand be against him, but let the Philistines be against him’” (18:15,17). That is, let the Philistines kill him, as if that would remove the blood from Saul’s hands. This is the very approach that David would take when he wanted to get rid of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. Worked for David; didn't work for Saul. Each time, though, the plan was carried out by a sinful heart. Jealousy can also lead to treacherous sin. How carefully we must guard our own hearts. Oh that we would have the mind of Christ, doing nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility counting others more significant than ourselves, looking not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-5).
Ye who the name of Jesus bear,
his sacred steps pursue;
and let that mind which was in him
be also found in you. –From Translations and Paraphrases (1745)