The AGGRESSIVE CANCER of JEALOUSY

May 16, 2016

It doesn't stop. There are few sins that are as progressive as jealousy. Quickly overtaking our soul, it consumes us and becomes woefully evident to those around us. We often don't even realize we are ensnared.

Noah Webster in his classic 1828 dictionary describes jealousy well.

""That passion of peculiar uneasiness which arises from the fear that a rival may rob us of the affection of one whom we love, or the suspicion that he has already done it; or it is the uneasiness which arises from the fear that another does or will enjoy some advantage which we desire for ourselves.""

Saul is Exhibit #1 in the Jealousy Hall of Shame. It was a simple song that set him off.

""It happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with musical instruments."" (1 Samuel 18:6)

It was a moment of joy and celebration for God had brought a great victory to Israel against her enemies. Saul, who was completely self-absorbed, expected them to praise him. But…

""The women sang as they played, and said, 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.'"" (vs. 6)

It doesn't take much. One moment of comparison and suddenly Saul realized the people had noticed David. Now, they had also noticed and praised Saul. But jealousy will not rest with a little praise. It wants all, or simply MORE than others.

Watch as jealousy flies through the soul of Saul and see its deadly and highly predictable consequences. You may notice some of the same signs in your soul.

ANGER

""Then Saul became very angry..."" (vs. 8)

It is a quick step from jealousy to anger which never achieves the righteousness of God.

DISPLEASURE

""...for this saying displeased him. (vs. 8)

COMPARISON and SELF-PITY

""They have ascribed to David then thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands."" (vs. 8)

FEAR OF BEING DISPLACED

""Now what more can he have but the kingdom?"" (vs. 8)

Jealousy is nothing more than a false sense of rejection. A mindless fear that others will have what you desire.

SUSPICION

""Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on."" (vs. 9)

It mattered not that David was completely loyal, or that he was Saul's friend and advocate, or that he was helping the whole kingdom. Saul's jealousy attributed evil motives to his loyal servant. When jealousy is our lens, everything others do is colored with suspicion.

AN EVIL SPIRIT

""...an evil spirit from God cam mightily upon Saul."" (vs. 10)

This is a hard verse to understand but the reality is that Saul had opened a door to evil and it came rushing in.

RAVING

""...and he raved in the midst of the house."" (vs. 10)

Jealousy produced an unreasoning, unexplainable, uncontrollable rage.

A DESIRE TO DESTROY

""Saul hurled the spear for he thought, 'I will pin David to the wall.'"" (vs. 11)

If you are jealous you want to destroy the one who you fear is taking your place or receiving your glory. You may not hurl a spear, but you will hurl criticism, or gossip and slander. You will seek to subtly or openly tear your suspected rival down before others in a vain attempt to maintain first place in the eyes of others.

The tragedy is, your jealousy is so obvious to others that it will have exactly the opposite effect. You will be lowered in others eyes when they see the foolishness of your envy.

FEAR

""Now Saul was afraid of David..."" (vs. 12)

Saul had NOTHING to fear from David. All David was doing was helping Saul and the kingdom with great loyalty. But jealousy caused Saul to come to ridiculous conclusions and unthinking fear.

THE LOSS OF GOD'S PRESENCE

""...for the Lord was with (David) but had departed from Saul."" (vs. 12)

God will not bless a man who is living for himself. He resists the proud, but is waiting to give grace to the humble.

SEPARATION

""Therefore Saul removed him from his presence..."" (vs. 13)

If Saul could not destroy him, at least he didn't have to look at him and be reminded of what he feared. The jealous man cannot be in the presence of the one he envies. He seeks to put him in a lower place in hopes that it will decrease his popularity.

DREAD

""David was prospering in all his ways for the Lord was with him. When Saul saw that he was prospering greatly, he dreaded him."" (vs. 14-15)

Saul should have felt nothing but joy and blessing with the activity of his most loyal, helpful warrior. Instead, all the joy was gone and he felt nothing but dread.

PLOTTING AND SCHEMING

Saul deviously sent David to battle. ""For Saul thought, 'My hand shall not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.'"" (vs. 17)

It is tragic that Saul hated the very man who was helping him and the kingdom the most. And yet jealousy would not let him rejoice. It quickly led him to desire David's demise.

UNFAITHFULNESS and DECEPTION

""So it came about at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel."" (vs. 19)

Saul’s daughter had been promised to David, but it was nothing more than a ruse. When Saul saw it wouldn't work, he quickly went back on his word, losing his dignity and the trust of others.

LOSS OF RESPECT BY OTHERS

""When Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul's daughter, loved him, then Saul was even more afraid of David. Thus Saul was David's enemy continually."" (vs. 29)

The rest of Saul's life is marked by a relentless passion to destroy David. It consumed him and ultimately destroyed him, which is exactly what jealousy does.

Everyone around Saul saw this except him. He was oblivious to the obvious. It’s always that way with jealousy. It makes us look foolish and the very thing we long for (the respect of others) we quickly lose.

Jealousy takes you farther than you ever intended, to places you never dreamed you would go. And, it never stops.

WHAT IS THE ROOT?

Saul had been lifted to his position purely by the gracious hand of God. He did not deserve it and had not earned it. Instead of humility, Saul let the position go to his head. He thought he deserved the title and any perceived threat frightened him. His pride overwhelmed him and he loved the position more than he loved God.

Not only pride, but self-centeredness marked his life. Saul wasn't concerned about God's glory or the good of the people. All he wanted was self-glory. He longed to be recognized. When anything threatened what Saul had as his goal, jealousy raised his ugly head.

WHAT ABOUT US?

What do you desire? If you think you are oblivious to jealousy, you do not understand its nature or the weakness of your flesh apart from God.

  • Are you so proud of your position that you believe you've earned and deserved the glory?
  • Do you listen to see if your name is called and your work is recognized?
  • Is there a sharp feeling of disappointment when you are not praised?
  • Do you check social media to see how many people are responding to what you have said?
  • Are you so self-absorbed that you think everything is about you and for you?
  • Can you rejoice when God rests his hand of blessing and anointing on others?
  • Are you greatly pleased when others are advancing the cause, perhaps in even greater ways than you?
  • Can you genuinely rejoice when others are used instead of you?
  • Do you live for the great, transcendent cause of God and His kingdom or your own feeble recognition and advancement?
  • Do you rejoice in the failures of others?
  • Do you secretly wish for their demise?
  • Do you criticize or gossip, trying to tear your supposed rival down in the eyes of others?
  • Are you afraid? Do you dread seeing the ones you envy?
  • Do you find yourself separating from them?
  • Are you beginning to go to extraordinary lengths to see them demoted?
  • Are you oblivious to how visible your jealousy has become?

Stop right now and ask God to open your eyes. Plead with Him for mercy to notice jealousy at the first signs of its rise. If you see its telltale marks, immediately check your heart and repent of the roots of pride and self-centeredness. Spend time praying for and encouraging the ones you have falsely accused.

Saul's spirit has done enough damage in this world. Don't follow in his tragic steps.





Also in Graceful Truth

DO YOU NEED STRENGTH?
DO YOU NEED STRENGTH?

June 21, 2024

God will always empower us for the tasks He wants accomplished … if we will ask

Continue Reading

THE JAW-DROPPING GENEROSITY OF GOD
THE JAW-DROPPING GENEROSITY OF GOD

June 20, 2024

Nothing is held back for those upon whom the Lord has set His love. Nothing spared from His inexhaustible storehouse. He gives us everything we need, in the proper amount, at the proper time, and in the proper way, and He bestows it freely.

Continue Reading

THE SIMPLICITY OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
THE SIMPLICITY OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

June 17, 2024

Here is the daily, hourly question we should constantly ask: Am I walking by the Spirit? By His leading and by His empowering?

Continue Reading