Saul becomes jealous of David

Jonathan and David – Saul’s Thorn

Saul becomes jealous of David
Saul becomes jealous of David

When I read this passage from 1 Samuel, I’m reminded of the classic movie; “The Ten Commandments” starring Charleston Heston.

I’m sure you’ve watched the film. But, if not it’s very entertaining although not accurate according to Scripture.

All the same, remember the scene at the beginning of the movie where Moses parades through the streets with everyone chanting his name?

Yule Brenner plays Rameses, the Prince of Egypt who would become king. All through the movie, his jealousy for Moses rages; partly from envy and in part from fear.

This is the same setting we see in this study lesson from the Bible as Saul becomes jealous of David.

But, this does not deter David and Jonathan from becoming two of the closest friends in the Bible.

After David killed Goliath, Saul could see the people giving him praise as we see in the verses below…

David Becomes Friends with Jonathan – Jealousy of Saul

“Now it came about, when he had finished speaking to Saul, that Jonathan committed himself to David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.

And Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house.

Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.

Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his military gear, including his sword, his bow, and his belt.

And David went into battle wherever Saul sent him, and always achieved success; so Saul put him in charge of the men of war. And it was pleasing in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

Now it happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with other musical instruments.

The women sang as they [d]played, and said,

“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”

Then Saul became very angry, for this lyric displeased him; and he said, “They have given David credit for ten thousands, but to me they have given credit for only thousands! Now what more can he have but the kingdom?”

And Saul eyed David with suspicion from that day on.” – 1 Samuel 18:1-9 NASB

Friendship & A Love for God

Yes, Jonathan and David became close friends. But, this was not just an acquaintance because of their positions in the military.

In reality, these two friends were both committed to God. So, not even the promise of the throne of Israel could diminish this friendship.

I once heard someone say; “You are blessed if you gain only one or two true friends in this life.”

And, when I reflect on that statement, I believe it’s true.

How Many Friends Do You Really Have?

Now, I’m not talking about people you know or even go to church with. Yes, these are people who would probably visit if you were sick — or pray for you when needed.

But, I’m talking about the kind of friend who comes to your aid at 3AM if needed. The friend who always listens and understands what you’re going through. A friend who sticks with you through good and bad times.

With that said, how many friends do you have.

Saul – The Jealousy Equation

We’ve established that David and Jonathan were friends. But, their friendship did not change Saul’s feelings of jealousy for David.

Let’s read the rest of chapter 18 to see how Saul felt about David..

“Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and a spear was in Saul’s hand.

Then Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will [h]pin David to the wall.” But David escaped from his presence, twice.

Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him but had left Saul.

So Saul removed him from his presence and appointed him as his commander of a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

David was successful in all his ways, for the Lord was with him.

When Saul saw that he was very successful, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he would go out to battle and return before them.

Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife, only be a valiant man for me and fight the Lord’s battles.”

For Saul thought, “My hand shall not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.”

But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who is my family, or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be the king’s son-in-law?”

So it came about at the time that Merab, Saul’s daughter, was to be given to David, that she was given instead to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.

David Marries Saul’s Daughter

Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. When they informed Saul, the thing was pleasing to him.

For Saul thought, “I will give her to him so that she may become a trap for him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David, “For a second time you may become my son-in-law, today.”

Then Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in secret, saying, ‘Behold, the king delights in you, and all his servants love you; now then, become the king’s son-in-law.’”

So Saul’s servants spoke these words to David. But David said, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am only a poor man and insignificant?”

Then Saul’s servants reported to him, saying, “These are the words David spoke.”

Saul then said, “This is what you shall say to David: ‘The king does not desire any dowry except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’” But Saul plotted to have David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

When his servants told David these words,it pleased David to become the king’s son-in-law.

So before the time had expired, David set out and went, he and his men, and fatally struck two hundred men among the Philistines.

Then David brought their foreskins, and they presented all two hundred of them to the king, so that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal as a wife.

When Saul saw and realized that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, then Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.

Then the commanders of the Philistines went to battle, and it happened as often as they went out, that David was more successful than all the servants of Saul.

So his name was held in high esteem.” – 1 Samuel 18:10-30 NASB

Is Jealousy a “Little Sin?”

First of all, according to Christ there is no “little” or “big” sin. He insinuated more than once that to break one law was to break them all.

Here’s just one example:

For whoever keeps the whole Law, yet stumbles in one point, has become guilty of all.” – James 2:10 NASB

Now, we all have been envious or jealous at one time or another. But, jealousy can be one step away from murder.

For example, if we become so jealous of another person that we begin to think about how good it would be if something happened to them, we have committed a major sin, haven’t we?

This brings us to the point with Saul’s jealous behavior toward David. He became so jealous he threw a spear at David. Then, he sent David out to fight in battle — hoping he would meet his demise!

Sin Gets a Foothold – Be Careful!

Saul becomes jealous of David
But, jealousy can be one step away from murder.

When those feelings of jealousy creep in as they often do, let’s take a lesson from Saul and put it to rest.

The only solution I can think of today is to pray.

Ask God to give you the strength to overcome these feelings and try to love that person.

Some people are more successful in certain areas than others.

We just have to accept that fact.

In closing, I’m reminded of an old quote by Will Rogers. It reads:

You know, everybody’s ignorant, just on different subjects.

How true! Let’s remember this quote and accept that we all have talents and spiritual gifts from God.

Let’s use them for the glory of God — and let that other person use theirs.

In Christ,


If you have never made the commitment to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16.