Saul’s Comparison Issues

Wendy Blight

Day: 18 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 18

1 Samuel 18:12 (NIV) Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had departed from Saul.”

When a friend receives unexpected blessings and rewards, it presents you with a choice. Do you celebrate their success? Do you feel anger, wondering why them and not you, because you work just as hard? Or do you experience jealousy, wishing it could be you instead of them, because you know their true character, and they don’t deserve it?

This passage presents Saul with that same dilemma. He too had a choice to make and rather than choosing to celebrate David’s success, Saul responded in anger and jealousy.

After his stunning victory over Goliath, Saul welcomed David into the royal household. He entrusted David with military power and control. The place where the shepherd boy once played harp and lyre became his home. But it was not a happy home. Far from it.

We witness an ugly side of King Saul as David’s early military success and popularity lit jealousy’s flame in Saul’s heart. David’s continued success, and the love Saul’s son and daughter had for him, fueled that jealousy into a flaming inferno.

Remember, God had stripped His Spirit from Saul, and it left a gaping hole, a perfect entryway for the devil to gain a foothold. So, when Saul realized the people were shifting their love and loyalty to David, his sick and twisted jealousy spiraled out of control. Scripture tells us an evil spirit forcefully came upon Saul, prompting him to hurl a spear at David … twice … to kill him. Yet, God protected David from Saul’s murderous hands.

Jealousy, pride, rage and fear held Saul hostage. Especially after Saul discerned that God had removed His hand of protection from him and placed it on David. In fact, three times in this passage the writer tells us how Saul feared David. Each time, noting it was because God was “with David.” Saul’s life tragically portrays what life is like void of the Holy Spirit.

Like Saul, we too receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit. But, unlike Saul, ours is not placed upon us for a particular purpose or time of service for the Lord. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive God’s indwelling presence as a most precious and incomprehensible gift. (Acts 2:38) God seals our hearts with His Spirit for eternity. (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13) It is a guarantee of our promised inheritance. (Ephesians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 1:22)

This is all a matter of the heart. A heart indwelled by the Spirit is a surrendered heart. A surrendered heart is willing to trust, and yield its wants and desires to the One who truly is in control. When uncontrolled emotions like jealousy and envy flood a surrendered heart, we are more willing to humble ourselves, kneel before God and ask forgiveness. We are empowered and equipped to give up our right to be right, to have it our way and, instead, celebrate the success of others.

Let’s not forget the significance of this treasured gift. The Spirit is God’s promise that He will never leave us or forsake us, and through His Spirit, He enables us to survive all things, overcome all things and do all things. 

Prayer: Father, thank You for the indwelling presence of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to walk fully surrendered in Your presence daily. Through it, may I know how wide and high and deep and long is Your love. Help me to walk in humility and celebrate the successes of those around me, free of jealousy and envy all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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