monster truck April 16 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 1Samuel 18:1- 19:17; Psalm 5; Psalm 59; 1Samuel 19:18- 20:42

The Monster of Jealousy—how to defeat it

Monster trucks are fun to watch as they crush and smash cars as they roll over them with their huge tires. Like monster trucks, jealousy also seeks to crush, smash, and destroy. This behavior, however, is not fun to watch.

What is the difference between love and jealousy? Most of the time when we think of love we think of a fond affection for someone or something. Actions accompany feelings as we are attentive to his, her, or its needs. Jealousy, on the other hand, is a selfish desire to obtain something someone else has. That something could be popularity, fame, or a relationship. Jealousy can have real or imagined causes. The accompanying actions of a jealous person might be anger, meanness, or even harm. Today we will look at Jonathan's love and Saul's jealousy.

Shortly after David returned from killing the Philistine giant, Goliath, he met with King Saul of Israel.

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. (1Samuel 18:1-4, NIV)

What makes Jonathan love David? Perhaps he observes the same spirit of faith and bravery he himself possesses (1Samuel 14:1-15), for Jonathan loves him as he loves himself. Jonathan is so impressed with David that he recognizes him as regal, for he removes his royal robes and even his own battle armament and gives them to David.

King Saul is also impressed with David... at first. He assigns him a high rank in his army, but David's popularity and his success become a perceived threat to Saul. He is galled when he hears the people sing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1Samuel 18:7b, NIV). From that day on Saul is suspicious of David and keeps a wary eye on him.

Saul's jealousy of David becomes monstrous:

  • Twice, Saul tries to kill David by throwing his spear at him
  • Saul sends David to fight the Philistines with hopes that he will be killed
  • Saul hopes that giving David a wife will weaken his will to fight and might make him vulnerable as a soldier, or that the bridal price David pays, the destruction of the Philistines, will lead to his own destruction.
  • Saul tells Jonathan and his attendants to kill David
  • The king tries again to pin David against the wall with his spear.
  • Saul tries to kill David on his bed (1Samuel 18:10-13,17,20-24; 1Samuel 19:1,10-15).

David flees to the desert. It is in memory of these events that Psalms 5 and 59 may have been written. David writes,

Deliver me from evildoers and save me from bloodthirsty men. See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, O LORD. I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. [LORD] Arise to help me; look on my plight! (Psalm 59:2-4, NIV)

How could Saul have defeated his own jealousy? Unless a person is insanely jealous, it can be lessened by reason when person considers what great things God has done for him. Samuel tried to reason with him. He told Saul he was a nobody until God anointed him as king and gave him military success (1Samuel 15:17-18). Now Jonathan tries to get his father to listen to reason, for David is not the king's enemy; he is his ally. David's military victories have greatly benefited his father (1Samuel 19:4-5).

The appeal works at first, and David is restored to the king's service. Saul could have continued to meditate on these things, but unfortunately David's successful military campaigns sour him once again. Are you jealous of someone's success? Be happy if you have that person on your side. His/her success is your success. If you have messed up, be glad God was gracious to give you that person. Repent of your jealousy and change your focus from yourself to doing the job God gave you to do. Do your job and let the other person do his, and then everyone can glorify God as he helps you both to win.

Jonathan could have problems with jealousy but doesn't. After all, David is loved by the people and is a strong and successful military commander. How does Jonathan keep the monster of jealousy from rising up within him? Jonathan shows love to David; he shares his personal possessions with him and is willing to do anything for him. Jonathan defends his friend; he considers David an ally against the enemies of Israel. Jonathan perceives David will be the next ruler instead of him, but he loves David as himself (1Samuel 18:3-4; 1Samuel 19:4-5; 20:32). How do we defeat the jealousy monster? The Apostle John tells us “perfect love casts out fear” (1John 4:18, NIV). The Apostle Paul describes what true love is.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV)

Lessons to Live By

•  Jealousy is an indication that your heart is not right with God. Do you want the forgiveness, peace, and joy which only he can give you? (more...)

•  Jealousy can sometimes be lessened with reason.

•  Are you jealous of someone's success? Be happy if you have that person on your side; his/her success is your success. If you have messed up, be glad God was gracious to give you that person to help.

•  Repent of your jealousy and change the focus from yourself to doing the job God gave you to do. Do your job and let the other person do his, and then everyone can glorify God as he helps you both win.

•  Love others as you would yourself (Matthew 19:19)

•  How do we defeat the jealousy monster? “Perfect love casts out fear” (1John 4:18, NIV)

Focus Verse

1John 4:11, NIV “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

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A Look Ahead: Unfortunately, King Saul's jealousy doesn't stop. David has to flee for safety. Our Next Lesson we learn about his Escape and Deliverance. What we discover is profitable for us.

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