And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
(1 Samuel 18:9 NIV)
My Bible reading plan has taken back to the book of First Samuel where we’re introduced to the monarchy in Israel. When Saul, Israel’s first chosen king, failed to obey God and fulfill His purpose, God anointed another man to replace him – a young shepherd boy by the name of David. Even though Saul wasn’t yet aware of God’s choice of David, Saul started to become jealous of him. When Israel’s army returned home after David killed Goliath, the women met King Saul with dancing and joyful singing, but unfortunately, Saul perceived the words of their song as a threat to his kingdom:
“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. (1 Samuel 18:7-9)
A careful study of the text reveals that the women were by no means comparing Saul and David’s victories in terms of numbers. They were just pointing out that what David had done in defeating this giant was a great victory. In fact, Jonathan, Saul’s son and David’s best friend, later reminds his father that David risked his life to save Israel from their Philistine enemies (1 Samuel 19:4-5). However, Saul’s jealousy turned David into an enemy who’s to be feared and killed. He did exactly what many are told to do, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
David, who knew that God would one day make him king over the nation, didn’t attempt to take the kingdom away from Saul. He waited on God. But Saul was so blinded by his jealousy that he spent all his time relentlessly pursuing David in order to kill him. Oftentimes, that’s exactly what jealousy does. It makes us view the people we once considered friends as enemies. When in reality, they haven’t shown any hostility towards us. Don’t allow jealousy to turn the good people in your life into your enemies.