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Monday, March 13, 2017

The Jealous, The Angry

It’s easy to love someone when that person is your best friend and you have a lot in common.  Even close, best friends can stir up feelings that are not love.

When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song: "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!" This made Saul very angry. "What's this?" he said. "They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they'll be making him their king!" So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. (1 Samuel 18:6-9 NLT)

This time, Saul is challenged to love.  It’s hard to love someone when you don’t trust him, everyone loves him more than they love you, and you think he’s out for your job.  To make things worse, all these things were true.  Saul did not trust David.  People did sing David’s praises more.  David was already anointed as Israel’s next king.  Saul didn’t know this last fact and he had no need for the first – David was worthy of his trust.  Saul, however, needed to battle the thoughts of jealousy so he could love his neighbor as himself.  Love is not jealous (1 Corinthians 13:4).  Saul needed to fight jealousy and love David.  He needed to fight the enemy and love people.

The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice. (1 Samuel 18:10-11 NLT)

Saul let his jealousy fester.  Whatever you feed, that will grow.  Saul fed his jealousy and it boiled over into anger.  Love does not do this.  It removes jealousy and replaces it with kindness.  Saul didn’t fight the good fight and it resulted in an outburst of anger (Ephesians 4:26-27,31; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Colossians 3:8; James 1:19-20).  Love failed.

How about you?  Do you ever feed jealousy instead of love?  Has it resulted in anger, even to the point of outbursts?  Has love, in you, ever failed?