From resentment to murder
In today’s chapter, we see how Saul sought to kill David. His resentment and jealousy towards David started with a song
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.” (1 Samuel 18:7)
and have grown to such an extent that he cannot seem to hold it back anymore. Although he was initially persuaded by Jonathan not to take David’s life (1 Samuel 19:6), yet another victorious return by David against the Philistines has once again triggered Saul’s jealousy (1 Samuel 19:9-).
To be honest, from a mental health professional’s point of view, it almost seemed like Saul has “lost it”. His resentment and jealousy was affecting him and he was portrayed as if he was constantly on guard against David. In today’s chapter, he was so bent on getting David that he sent messengers many times and even went to Ramah himself.
There was only one thing on his mind – to kill David.
In the Bible, there are other similar examples (e.g. Cain and Abel, Joseph and his brothers) whereby horrible deeds were committed out of jealousy or resentment. Abel was murdered. Joseph was sold to Egypt. And often these acts of jealousy/resentment started with something harmless…
Abel was simply offering his best to God, while Joseph was simply doted by his father.
The Bible exhorts us to put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking (Ephesians 4:31). If we are not careful to exterminate bitterness at the root, bitterness will grow, “spring up”, and “cause trouble” (Hebrews 12:15). Before we know it, we are already murderers (maybe not literally, but in our hearts (c.f. Matthew 5:21-22)).
If there is someone whom we have issues with, or if we find ourselves starting to resent someone or to be jealous of somebody, do not let these feelings grow in secret. The more we feed these negative feelings, the more these feelings will grow, and before we know it, they overwhelm us like how Saul was overwhelmed with his desire to kill David.
Let us confess our sins to someone we trust so that there is accountability, and let us pray for each other and be healed (James 5:16).
We cannot win the battle alone. We need God, and we need a group of Godly people who will fight together with us. Have you got your army of Godly people? 🙂