1 Samuel 18 "The Portrait Hall": The Downcast King

Saul was bitten with a snake whose venom was jealousy and deceit. His life, his power, even his decency drained from him. His family found him restless and uncaring. His kingdom started to ebb in their allegiance. Yet Saul resisted God and tried to find a way to fill himself apart from repentance. Do you know someone like Saul?

Jacob Marley (Scrooge’s partner in A Christmas Carol) wore a chain that he carried in the afterlife because of his cold heart. Saul forged a chain, link by link, that led to his own destruction. The first link was an insecurity that led him to jealousy.

Key Principle: The chain that begins with the forging of jealousy ends with self-destruction. Finding my identity in my Lord keeps me from forging other chains of bondage!

Pattern of Chain:

  1. Link One: (18:8a) “Very angry” (khawraw me’od) is literally “really burned” which denote the FEELING BASE of the first forged link.
  1. Link Two: (18:8) “displeased” (ra’ah ayin) is literally “gave him an evil eye toward” which meant the feelings led to a HEART DECEPTION. Verse 9 “suspicion” is another form of “EYED” where Saul began to put intentions in David’s heart.
  1.  Link Three: (18:10) “raved” (vayit’naveh; from nawvaw) is literally to prophesy as in the promise that Samuel made to Saul that he would be “changed” and SPEAK DIFFERENTLY (cp. 1 Sam 10:6).
  1. Link Four: (18:11) “hurled” (vayitool; from tool) is thrown with force, yanked out, etc. In each case it is an EXTREME REACTION that is counter to the normal behavior or character (as when the people tossed Jonah into the deep!).
  1. Link Five: (18:12) “afraid” (yawraw) is an IRRATIONAL FEAR THAT CONFUSES OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOR WITH DEFENSIVENESS (considering Saul was the spear “toss-er” and David the “toss-ee”.
  1. Link Six: (18:12b) “God departed” (sawr from soor) is the DISRUPTION OF THE FLOW OF GOD’S POWER AND BLESSING.
  1. Link Seven: (18:15) “dreaded” is a strange form of (goor) a word that sometimes means to sojourn, be hospitable, to CUB. It is AN ATTEMPT TO GAIN CONTROL by adding some strings into the other’s life (as in the daughter’s offered to wed in 18:16-24).
  1. Link Eight: (18:25) “planned to make…fall” is (khoshev l’hafil) literally to PLAN WAYS TO COLLAPSE OR ABANDON.
  1. Link Nine: (18:29) “more afraid…enemy continually” (awyav col hayomim) is TO BECOME CONTINUALLY HOSTILE TO.

“Rules” of Jealousy:

  1. Jealousy begins with a sense of insecurity about ourselves, and isn’t really about the other guy at all! (1 Samuel 15:26-31; 17:54-58; 18:1).
  1. Jealous and bitter people try desperately to control those around them (18:2).
  1. Jealous and bitter people test the loyalties of others, half hoping they will fail to validate they are no better than themselves (18:5). They miss the relationships that they could have (18:3-4)!
  1. Jealous and bitter people burn with anger when others get credit for things, even if it is deserved. They secretly feel smaller because others appear bigger – the comparison game (18:5-8a).
  1. Jealous and bitter people read their intentions into others hearts (18:8b).
  1. Jealous and bitter people see others through jaded eyes that do not behold the truth (18:9).
  1. Continuing to walk in jealousy and bitterness will bring a dark cloud over the countenance (18:10).
  1. The longer the bitter jealousy lasts in our hearts, the more likely we will lash out rashly at another with pent up anger (18:11).
  1. In the end, our struggle is with God’s purposes, which we believe to be unfair. Our fight is with HIM, not the other guy! (18:12-14).
  1. All the bitter jealousy does is deeply enslave those who allow its control to root within (18:15-16)
  1. It will lead you to become dishonest in your dealings with people (18:17-19).
  1. It will drive you to use others in your quest to end your pain (18:20-30).

Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled”. 

Remember, the chain that begins with the forging of jealousy ends with self-destruction. Finding my identity in my Lord keeps me from forging other chains of bondage!