Jealousy and Fear Aren’t Pretty

Read: 1 Samuel 18:1-15

Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. (v. 12)

When powerful people have earned their authority with the popular vote or the attention of the masses as a media favorite, it seems impossible to them that they could be replaced. But popularity is fleeting. Even power has limits. You cannot force your way to the spotlight and stay there forever.

Saul did not anticipate how brief his likability and power would be. When the army returned from battle after David slew Goliath, women danced and sang. They celebrated David more than they celebrated Saul, and Saul’s jealousy over this made him so crazy (literally) that he tried to pin David with a spear! It also had to sting when Saul’s son Jonathan became dear friends with David. Saul was overcome by bitter jealousy and violent rage. Yet what it came down to was that he feared David because he saw how God was with David. Saul understood that everything David was and all that he accomplished was because of God. Meanwhile, Saul was left to his disturbed emotions and atrocious behavior. Jealousy and fear are not attractive in a king.

How often do we struggle to celebrate the good in someone’s life because we ourselves don’t have the same? Perhaps we don’t react violently, but our jealousy can make us bitter and mean. Instead, let grace be your guide, and allow God’s presence in your life to be love in the world.

As you pray, ask God to make you beautiful in your lovingkindness.

About the Author

Katy Sundararajan is a specialized minister in the Reformed Church in America. She has garnered her pastoral perspectives from posts as a college chaplain, a missionary, an international student advisor, and a higher education and leadership ministries program coordinator.

This entry is part 20 of 31 in the series 1 Samuel: Trusting God through Big Transitions