1 Samuel 18:8-15 (KJV)
8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.
11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.
12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.
13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.
14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.
15 Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.
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?
Staying positive and wise is the best reaction to an opponent. Don’t get even.
— Charles R. Swindoll