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monster truck April 16 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 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 while they roll over them with their huge tires. Like monster trucks, jealousy also seeks to crush, smash, and destroy. Jealousy, 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 often thought of as a selfish desire to have 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 made Jonathan love David? Perhaps he observed the same spirit of faith and bravery that he himself possessed (1Samuel 14:1-15). Jonathan loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan was so impressed with David that he seemed to recognize him as regal, for he took off his royal robes and even his own battle armament and gave them to David.

Saul, too, was impressed with David... at first. He assigned him a high rank in his army, but his popularity and his success became a perceived threat to Saul. He was galled when he heard the refrain sung, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands,” (1Samuel 18:7b, NIV). From that day on Saul was suspicious of David and kept a wary eye on him.

Saul's jealousy of David became monstrous:

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

Finally, David had to flee to the desert. It was in memory of these events that Psalms 5 and 59 were apparently written. David wrote,

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 the jealousy monster? Unless a person is insanely jealous, jealousy can be mitigated by reason when he considers what great things God has done for him. Samuel tried to reason with Saul. He told King Saul that he was a nobody until God had him anointed as king and gave him military success (1Samuel 15:17-18). Jonathan also tried to get his father to appeal to reason. David was not the king's enemy; he was his ally, and David's military victories greatly benefited him (1Samuel 19:4-5). The appeal worked at first, and David was restored to the king's service. Saul could have continued to meditate on these things, but unfortunately David's successful military campaigns soured 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 them do theirs, and then everyone can glorify God as he helps you to win.

Jonathan could have had problems with jealousy but didn't. After all, David was loved by the people and was a strong and successful military commander. How did Jonathan keep the monster of jealousy from rising up within him? Jonathan showed his love toward David. He shared his personal possessions with him and was willing to do anything for him, though that might mean Jonathan would not succeed his father as king. Jonathan defended his friend; he considered David an ally against the enemies of Israel. Jonathan accepted the fact that David would be the next ruler, and he loved David as himself (1Samuel 18:3-4; 1Samuel 19:4-5; 20:32). How do we defeat the jealousy monster? 1 John 4:18 instructs us that “perfect love casts out fear.” 1Corinthians 13:4-7 describes what love truly 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. (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 that only he can give you? (more...)

•  Jealousy can sometimes be mitigated 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.

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

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

•  How do we defeat the jealousy monster? 1 John 4:18 instructs us that “perfect love casts out fear.”

Today's Bible memory verse: 1John 4:11 “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (NIV)

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