As fear and worry intensified, Saul became paranoid. “What more can he have now but the kingdom?” His self-talk lost control. “Hey, I’ve got a problem on my hands. Here’s a giant-killer who’s about to become a king-killer. What can I do about that?” He’s afraid of his own shadow.
That’s Saul. Within a matter of hours, he “looked at David with suspicion from that day on.” When imagination is fueled by jealousy, suspicion takes over . . . and at that point, dangerous things occur.
David has done nothing to deserve that kind of treatment! He has served God, killed a giant, submitted himself to his superior, and behaved properly. In fact, verse 15 says, “When Saul saw that he was prospering greatly, he dreaded him.”
Why? Because Saul saw that God was on David’s side, and he realized that he, himself, didn’t have that kind of power. The contrast was more than he could handle.
The Bible is so practical, isn’t it? Jealousy is a deadly sin, and the suspicion of Saul shackled him in its prison. Because he operated in that tight radius of fear, worry, and paranoia, Saul’s great goal in life became twisted. Instead of leading Israel onto bigger and better things, he focused on only one objective: making David’s life miserable.
Being positive and wise is the best reaction to an enemy. When you see your enemy coming, don’t roll up your mental sleeves, deciding which jab you will throw. Remember how David handled Saul. David just kept prospering—just kept behaving wisely. And when the heat rose, he fled the scene. He refused to fight back or get even.
So if you are rubbing shoulders with a jealous individual, whether it be a roommate, a boss, a friend, or even a partner, remember the model of David.
It boils down to this: walking in victory is the difference between what pleases us and what pleases God. Like David, we need to stand fast, to do what is right without tiring of it. Plain and simple, that’s what pleases God. And in the final analysis, isn’t that why we’re left on earth?
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.