Saul Becomes Jealous
April 6 - Nº 96 1 Samuel 18
After David killed Goliath, Saul decided to move him permanently to the palace. During this time, David and Saul’s son, Jonathan, became very close friends. They had a lot in common. They were both bold, brave young men, and they shared a deep, trusting relationship with God. They made a covenant that they would never allow their friendship to be broken. Jonathan went so far as to give David his royal robe and his armor. He seemed to realize that, although he was supposed to be the next one in line for the throne, God had already chosen David to wear the crown. David became a successful commander in the army. All the people admired him, and his men were extremely loyal to him. One day when Saul and his army came home from a battle, women from several cities met them. They were dancing and singing, “Saul has killed his thousands and David his tens of thousands.” This did not go over well with the king. He was furious! “If they are giving him my credit, will they also try to give him my kingdom?” he wondered. Saul became extremely jealous of David. The very next day, God allowed an evil spirit to take control of Saul. As he had done in the past, David began to play his harp to calm the distraught king. But Saul became even more upset. He grabbed his spear and hurled it at David. David jumped out of the way. Saul tried again. Once again David dodged the weapon. Saul realized that the Spirit of the Lord was with David instead of with him. Now his jealousy was complicated by fear. Saul tried to get rid of David by placing him in charge of 1,000 soldiers and sending him to the battlefield. But David was successful in every campaign he led. This increased the love and admiration of the people—but it also intensified Saul’s fear. He tried to convince David to invade the Philistines. He offered to give David his oldest daughter, Merab, if he would fight them again. (David had already won this right by defeating Goliath, but Saul seemed to have forgotten—see #95 - David and Goliath) When David was uninterested in his offer, Saul gave her to another man.
But another one of the king’s daughters, named Michal, fell in love with David. When Saul heard this, he had an idea that he was sure would cause David’s death. He sent his servants to David with a message, “The king likes you very much, so he is giving you another chance to become his son-in-law. You can marry his daughter Michal.” “I can’t,” David replied. “I am poor. I have nothing to offer the king for his daughter.” “The king doesn’t want money or possessions,” they replied as they had been instructed. “He wants you to kill 100 Philistines, and bring back proof that they are dead.” Saul felt that there was no way David could accomplish this without being killed. But the idea pleased David. He and his men killed 200 Philistines and provided the evidence. Saul had no choice but to give Michal to David. David became the king’s son-in-law that day, but he also became his number one enemy!
Are you happy for others when they are successful? Saul was not happy for David’s success. Instead he was jealous. And jealousy led him into dark places filled with anger and fear and depression. Don’t let jealousy trap you!!