Lesson 40

Jealousy of Saul

"Jealousy is cruel as the grave."
Song of Solomon 8:6

King Saul was a very tall man, good looking, and he possessed much wisdom. From the human standpoint he was quite ideal. But King Saul tried to rule the people in the same way that other kings ruled. He completely ignored the fact that his kingdom was very different from all other kingdoms. He also overlooked the fact that God was the true king of Israel and he himself only represented God and should be guided by him in every way.

David, on the other hand, was anxious to do the LORD’s will and was repentant whenever he erred. He was spoken of as a "man after God’s own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

When Saul became unusually nervous and depressed, he was glad for David’s music to cheer him. When Saul was desperately frightened of Goliath and the Philistines, he was grateful for David’s bravery which saved the battle. But when the people praised David more than they did Saul, the king became exceedingly angry and jealous and tried to kill the young man.

Saul tried to get help from his son Jonathan in his wicked plan to kill David, but Jonathan loved David and helped him to escape from his father’s wrath. Even though the anointing of David was kept a secret, Saul realized that God’s favor was with him which only served to increase his jealous feelings.

It was a hard trial for David to wait for the LORD’s due time to become king of Israel since his life was always in danger from the angry Saul. However, he learned many valuable lessons in patience!

David was humble but he was also courageous. In the name of the LORD he fearlessly killed Goliath. David was courageous but he was also merciful. When Saul intended to kill David, it was necessary that he run away and hide in order to save his life. But twice when David could have killed Saul, he would not, even though some urged him to do so. He said, "I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the LORD‘s anointed" (1 Samuel 24:10 Revised Standard Version)

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