Dealing with the Spirits of Jealousy and Envy
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Delivered By
Pastor Ed Dinkins
Delivered On
February 22, 2015
Central Passage
1 Samuel 18:5-16
Fourth Sunday Service

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Verse 5

"And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants."

"Saul set him over the men of war." This apparently refers to some subordinate position to that of Abner, the general of all Saul's armies.

This verse has no chronological connection whatever with the verses preceding or following it. "It covers a great deal of time."[2] Also, the events of 1 Samuel 18:1-4 probably took place at the end of this period of time, and not prior to it. Jonathan's soul being knit with David's was mentioned first, and out of sequence, because the sacred author wished to emphasize it.

During the indefinite time period mentioned here, David conducted military expeditions under Saul's order and proved to be very successful in all of them. Of course, his popularity was greatly increased. At the end of this somewhat extensive time, there was a sufficient victory over the Philistines that hostilities, for a time, were abated. The occasion was celebrated by some kind of a grand parade, which is recorded in the next verses.

Verse 6


"As they were coming home, when David returned from slaying the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with timbrels, with songs of joy, and with instruments of music. And the women sang to one another as they made merry:

`Saul has slain his thousands,

And David his ten thousands.'

And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him; he said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; and what more can he have but the kingdom"? And Saul eyed David from that day on."

We are well aware that some very able commentators take this paragraph as a record of what happened immediately after David slew Goliath; but it appears to this writer that there are substantial objections to that viewpoint. Not even the enthusiastic women could have referred to the victory over one man as his slaying his "ten thousands." The most likely occurrence of this celebration was at the end of the whole military campaign, the temporary end of the war.

"When David returned from the slaying of the Philistine" (1 Samuel 18:6). The ASV margin here notes that the plural "Philistines" is an alternate rendition, and we believe that to be correct. "The allusion here is not to the combat with Goliath but to one of the expeditions mentioned in 1 Samuel 18:5. The women would not have described the slaughter of one champion as the slaying of ten thousand, nor would there have been any contrast between David's act and the military enterprises of Saul."[3]

Keil also agreed that, "Saul took David into his service immediately after his defeat of Goliath, and before the war had been brought to an end; but the celebration of the victory in which the women excited Saul's jealousy did not take place until the return of the people and of the king at the close of the war."[4]

"And Saul eyed David from that day on" (1 Samuel 18:9). This means that from that day forward, Saul's jealous envy and hatred of David would never be diminished. Saul probably guessed, at this point of time, that David would be his successor. His Majesty resolved to do everything in his power to prevent that from happening.

Verse 10


"And on the morrow an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand; and Saul cast the spear, for he thought, "I will pin David to the wall." But David evaded him twice."

"Saul raved within his house." (1 Samuel 18:10). That `evil spirit' that came upon Saul bore a remarkable resemblance to paranoid insanity; but it was nevertheless a punishment inflicted by God Himself upon the wicked Saul. David might well have thought that the attempt of Saul to kill him was merely due to a temporary fit of madness, otherwise, he would hardly have exposed himself a second time to Saul's murderous actions.

"David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day" (1 Samuel 18:10). Notice that there is no war in progress at this point, giving strong support to the understanding that the preceding celebration that aroused Saul's jealousy came at the termination of an important phase of the Philistine war.

"Saul had his spear in his hand" (1 Samuel 18:10). "It seems that Saul held this weapon in his hand as a scepter, according to an ancient custom."[5]

Verse 12


"Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him a commander of a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. And David had success in all his undertakings; for the Lord was with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in awe of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David; for he went out and came in before them."

"And made him commander of a thousand" (1 Samuel 18:13). If this was a promotion for David, as most of the scholars we have consulted seem to believe, then we may be sure that Saul's motivation included something other than a desire to honor David. The next verses make it clear what that motivation was.


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It is important to note that believers can be influenced by the evil spirits. They go where there is a seed of bitterness in a person’s heart. God protects us by His timing and rules. Obeying the Lord yields protection- yields favor.  Don't let jealousy or envy rob you of your testimony.  Learn to thank God for what you have and seek Him for deliverance from the strongholds of jealousy and envy.

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