JEALOUSY AND ENVY AS SEEN IN KING SAUL
By David J. Riggs
A. Please turn in your Bibles to 1 Samuel chapter 18.
B. King Saul is the main character of 1 Sam. 18, and he, in a very
graphic way, illustrates the evils of two sins in particular -
jealousy and envy.
1. "Jealousy" and "envy" are very similar in meaning.
a. They involve the "feelings of displeasure produced by
witnessing or hearing of the advantages or prosperity of
b. They also involve "longing after or coveting some
advantage or possession of another." (Webster)
c. "Envy" is the stronger of the two words because it not
only involves ill-feelings toward another, but it
expresses itself in action against the one envied.
C. Every sin begins with temptation and, if not repented of, ends
1. Let us study "jealousy" and "envy," as exemplified in the
life of Saul, that we might avoid them.
I. THE SEEDS OF JEALOUSY AND ENVY. 1 Sam. 18:1-9
A. In the first nine verses we see the seeds of jealousy sown in
1. Comparisons were made between Saul and David of which
Saul did not appreciate. 1 Sam. 18:7-9
2. The Bible warns us of the folly of comparing ourselves to
others. 2 Cor. 10:12
3. Everyone should prove his own work. Gal. 6:4
B. Also, the seeds of jealousy were sown in Saul's heart by his
1. He was afraid that David would take away the kingdom from
him. 1 Sam. 18:8
2. Saul seemed to forget about God's will in the matter.
a. His kingship had been a gift to him from God.
b. Thus, no one could take the kingdom from him unless
God so willed it.
c. His responsibility was to strive to stay in the favor of
3. All Christians should try to do their best to serve God, and
leave all else in the hands of God.
II. THE FRUITS OF JEALOUSY AND ENVY. 1 Sam. 18:10-27
A. When jealousy or envy takes root, evil actions flow therefrom.
1. Saul throws his spear at David in an attempt to pin him to
the wall. 1 Sam. 18:11
a. As a matter of fact, three times he tries to kill David
with a javelin. 1 Sam. 18:10-11; 19:9-10
b. Also, Saul plotted and schemed to have David fall by the
Philistines. 1 Sam. 18:25
2. Again, when jealousy or envy takes root in one's heart it
causes him to do evil things.
a. Jealousy will cause one to squander precious time and
resources in evil actions rather than faithfully serving
B. "Fear" is a fruit of jealousy.
1. Three times in this chapter, the inspired writer says that
Saul was afraid of David. 1 Sam. 18:12,15,29
2. Saul's fear was irrational and unjustified.
a. David was completely loyal to Saul and would have
humbly served him in any way he desired.
3. Sin clouds the mind and darkens the heart. Rom. 1:21-
22,26,28; Gen. 6:5-8; Eph. 4:17-19
III. THE PITS OF JEALOUSY AND ENVY. 1 Sam. 18:28-29
A. Hardships and heartache in one's family is a pit in the fruit
1. Saul sent messengers to kill David, but David was saved by
David's wife, Michal. 1 Sam. 19:11-17
a. Remember, Michal was the daughter of Saul. To say the
least, she did not appreciate what her father was trying
2. Later, Saul tries to kill his own son Jonathan who was
defending David. 1 Sam. 20:30-34
a. Again, Saul's envy was putting a hard strain, to say the
least, on family relations.
B. "Blindness of heart" is a pit in the fruit of jealousy.
1. Saul had the priests of God killed because he thought they
had tried to help David. 1 Sam. 22:13-18
2. For a long time, he had all the armies of Israel in the
wilderness hunting David. Chapters 22-26
3. Saul did not stop pursuing David even though David proved
to him twice that he was not his enemy. 1 Sam. 24:4-12;
IV. THE END CONSEQUENCES OF JEALOUSY AND ENVY.
A. Saul's jealousy and envy became an obsession, and caused him to
lose everything of any value.
1. He lost the friendship and loyalty of one who would have
been a good son-in-law.
a. 1 Sam. 18:29 says that Saul became the continual enemy
of David. How sad!
b. David would have made a great general (and/or servant)
under Saul's kingship.
2. He lost the love and respect of his family.
a. He was trying to hurt, for no reason, the one who his
son and daughter truly loved.
B. The Lord departed from Saul and became his enemy. 1 Sam.
1. Thus, Saul lost the most important thing any human being
can ever have - fellowship with God. John 1:11-13; 1 John
3:1; Rev. 21:7-8
2. In the end, in desperation, Saul asked counsel of one that
had a familiar spirit, the witch of Endor. Chapter 28
a. His life ended in suicide on the battle field. 1 Sam.
A. As we have seen, the root cause of Saul's downfall was his
jealousy and envy of David.
1. Instead of controlling jealousy and envy, jealousy and envy
took control of him, and destroyed him.
2. They put him in a rapid spiral downward from which he
B. Let us be aware of these sins, their powers, and what they can
do to us.
1. Jealousy and envy will bring harm to ourselves, our
families, and, worst of all, will destroy our souls.
2. May God help us to overcome envy and jealousy in our
hearts and lives.