The Fall of Saul

The relationship between David and Saul tells a story of sinful jealousy. When God chose David to be king, Saul was still sitting on the throne. Saul had disobeyed God, so He responded by taking the kingdom away and choosing a man after His own heart, David (1 Samuel 13:14).

Saul continued to sit on the throne but became jealous after David killed Goliath, and his fame increased. In 1 Samuel 18, the Bible tells us, “The women sang as they played and said, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’” (1 Samuel 18:7). The next verse tells us that “Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him” (1 Samuel 18:8). From that day on “Saul looked at David with suspicion” (1 Samuel 18:9).

On several occasions, Saul attempted to end David’s life. He threw a spear at him twice (1 Samuel 18:11, 19:10), plotted to have him killed by the Philistines (1 Samuel 18:25), and pursued him over many miles. Jealousy caused a man who was once humble and faithful to God to become evil and wicked.

While David and Saul’s circumstances were unique, the dangers of jealousy are not. Proverbs 6:34 tells us that “jealousy enrages a man.” James wrote, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” Sinfully desiring the prosperity of others can lead any of us to sinful disobedience.

Matt Langfield