When David and Saul approached
(on David’s return after slaying the Philistine),
women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul,
singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums.
The women played and sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.”
Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought:
“They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me.
All that remains for him is the kingship.”
And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David. (1 Sm 18:6-9)
It always leads to something worse.
First it is jealousy.
Then, it is fear.
Next, comes hatred and aggression.
Finally, our undoing.
Saul became jealous of David because David was receiving many accolades after slaying the Philistine. David should have received accolades. He saved all the people from their enemy — all the people, including Saul.
If David had not slain the Philistine, Saul’s kingdom would have been destroyed.
Instead of being thankful, though, Saul, the king (who had no reason to be jealous because, hey, after all, he was the king!) allowed his jealousy to turn into fear and his fear turned into acts of aggression toward David. And that became Saul’s undoing.
Eventually, Saul would be vanquished and David would become king.
When others are receiving praise instead of us, we should ask ourselves, “Do they deserve the praise?” If our honest answer is, “Yes”, then we should join in praising them as well. After all, every good deed should be rewarded with the appropriate praise.
Celebrating the good fortune of others helps to bind us all together.
FAITH ACTION: Are you jealous of someone? Has that jealously started to tear at your inner fabric? Let those jealous feelings go today. Say a prayer for that other person and celebrate their good fortune with them.