Day 12

David and Saul

from the 1 & 2 Samuel reading plan


1 Samuel 18:1-30, 1 Samuel 19:1-24, Psalm 59:1-17

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 18:1-30, 1 Samuel 19:1-24, Psalm 59:1-17

It all started with pride and a hankering for toast.

With a freshly ironed shirt and crisp college degree, I walked through the doors of my new job and stepped into a schedule full of meetings and a to-do list of fires to put out. Literally.

Soon after becoming acquainted with the office kitchen and its various coffee creamers and water bottles, I found myself staring into a tiny toaster smelling very burnt toast. The piece of bread was mine, of course, but its transformation into unrecognizable burnt crumbles made me feel as if I had no business being near baked goods of any kind, ever. I looked around the empty room, wondering when the toast’s lunatic owner, ahem, would rescue it from the smoke-producing heat.

I regularly find myself feeling neglectful like this in the kitchen, but I can also be careless with my thought life too. Envy starts a fire in my heart, causing my feelings to combust from the inside out. From seemingly nowhere, jealousy rears its ugly head, just in time for me to realize these terrible thoughts are unfortunately, actually mine (all mine!)—unlike my friend’s new engagement ring, vacation plans, promotion, or instagram attention, which caused my emotions to boil over in the first place. I truly want to celebrate these things for my friend (I do!), but turning away from my good intentions for even five seconds leaves these feelings to roast unattended over an open flame.

Envy might be the only sin that never feels good, not even for a moment. Other sins give us fleeting pleasure or empty promises, but envy hands us a box of matches and permission to light the fire. And before we know it, we’re in a room full of smoke.

In 1 Samuel 18, there’s a friendly celebration happening, the kind we intend to give the people we love as a way to congratulate them. Saul is great! David is great! We all have tambourines! But envy creeps into Saul’s heart when he hears, “Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands” (v.7, emphasis mine).

The matches are lit, and Saul is off to kill David. That escalated quickly, didn’t it? I’m not sure Saul even knows how he got there, but then I remember my own failed attempts to rescue bread from the kitchen toaster. (I grabbed a paper towel to smother the flames, which of course, actually made them worse.) So, I can understand why Saul would want to get rid of any evidence pointing directly to his failures.

I’ll bet Saul had one word ringing in his head that may sound familiar to you and me: mine. He wanted to claim it all as his—the glory, the credit, the recognition, the love. (Can anyone else relate?)

Although David seemed to have it all together, he only had one quality worth envying: the presence of the One who actually does hold it all together. In these two chapters, we see the phrase “God with David” four times. This is what sets David apart. This is what Saul wants. This is what we all want. Our cries may say “Mine!,” but all we ever really want is for Someone to choose us, to adopt us as their own.

The glory, the credit, the recognition, the love—they’re all the Lord’s. And friends, so are we. He smothers the flames of envy by showing us we already belong. After all, it all started with love and a hankering for home.

“You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
 you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.”
– Psalm 59:17

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Post Comments (58)

58 thoughts on "David and Saul"

  1. Micahlee says:

    Good reminder as always.

    1. Almena says:

      Holy coisnce data batman. Lol!

  2. Anita says:

    4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.~~ The Lord is opening my eyes to so many little tidbits! It’s not always big things, sometimes those little nuggets can offer big insight. Jonathon removed his robe and placed it around David. David wasn’t chilly. Jonathon recognized David as the future king, Jonathan gave him his robe, the robe of a royal. I closed my eyes and envisioned doing the same to Jesus. I am no longer the queen of my life, Jesus is the King of my life. He wears the robe. The king of kings and lord of all lords. When we remove our robes of burden, strife, and fears and place them Jesus’ shoulders, we can rest. We no longer are carrying them around with us, Jesus has the strength and abilities we don’t possess to carry the load. His robe has many pockets. A wise bible teacher once said to a class where I was a student, “Pray for your enemies, it’s impossible to be angry or hate someone while your laying them on the alter of the Lord.” She was correct. Love these devotions! I feel that I’m being led to share, I hope it’s alright to do so. Blessings everyone!

    1. Donnia says:

      Wow I never thought of it that way. How great if we loved others as Jesus loved us and wrap our “robes” of love around others.

  3. Lisa says:

    Precious Shelby. I wish I could give you a big mama hug! I am 54 and have been a Christian for 18 years. I was working on my testimony before I met precious Jesus. I was not raised in a Christian home and I am married to a unbeliever for 25 years. Let go of the past but learn from it. The Lord will use your past to help others if you let Him. To Jesus you are very precious. You are new and every morning His mercies are new. The devil wants you to remain stuck and tormented by your past but look to Jesus and move forward in your walk with Him. I will be praying for you and you know the way Home and we will see you there. Love and prayers. Xo

    1. Shelby says:

      Lisa, thank you for your kind words. And thank you for the mama hug! I was exposed and loved the church setting with my grandparents (Baptist) since I was about 4yrs old. My parents wouldn’t allow me to go at times and growing into teenage years that mentality from them remained. Young 20s there were variety of times when I would get close then fall but still fighting to get closer. I married my husband who only went to church on a random holiday.. so really the true exposure he has had is since we started dating with church so I’m trying to lead him until he gets to the point of comfort and takes flight. He does wonderful about praying before meals and telling me to look to God and ‘give it to God’ when I become overwhelmed.. it’s nice to see his progress (of course without the forcing).

      Thank you for opening my eyes about the newness of ourselves each and every new day.

      1. Lisa says:

        Shelby,
        Love your sweet heart! I prayed for you this morning in church. I am just a older you and the things I say to you I say to me. Every morning trust Jesus! Nothing is a surprise to Him. My oldest son is 32 and a strong Christian and my younger two grew up going to church but are not walking with the Lord ages 23 and 25. The younger two live at home and it is so hard to watch this. The Lord showed me that maybe the only way for me to have come to know Him was because of my painful past and if that is true then I welcome that as hard as it is. Find some verses that comfort you and write them on index cards and read them during the day. I will be praying for you and your hubby!! The Lord will use you to help other women, He just needs to strengthen you. Have a blessed day and continue to read this devotional.
        Psalm 16:8
        I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

        1. Shelby says:

          Thank you for your words. My Papa (mom’s dad) has been going through something similar as you; three children whom he desired to go to church and now my mom is in nursing home, one uncle is in drug rehab, and the other uncle wants nothing to do with him. It’s hard seeing my Papa’s heartbreak with it so I can’t imagine yours.

      2. Lana says:

        Hi Shelby! I recently read a book called A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. It changed my life and brought me closer to God. I listened to it on audible but it’s also available in paperback. It’s helped me so much. I hope it helps you too.

        1. Shelby says:

          Lana, I will look into it thank you!!

  4. SB says:

    God is good! So I tried to read this yesterday morning but it wasn’t up yet! God always knows what we need and when we need it. I just read my favorites of other days! I had my own episode of envy last night. Crying I did so horrible on the test and just knowing all my classmates did amazing again! I had my own pity party with my husband who was not very sympathetic but loving. It just amazes me every time God gave me this to read today where it hit home so perfectly!

  5. churchmouse says:

    Oops PRAY not lay. Excuse all the typos

  6. churchmouse says:

    Envy is oh so lazy. It takes little effort to let my mind and my emotions go to “why them? Why not me?” How clueless I can be! Case in point : there were some older women in out church who were so calm and so confident in their praying. And the words they used – so eloquent, so honest, so transparent, so Scriptural. I do wanted what they had – that kind of prayer ability. I wound watch and listen and shake my head. Why couldn’t I pray like that? Why didn’t people phone me to intercede for them? Why wasn’t I asked to pray aloud at meetings? Why them and not me? Why wasn’t I given that spiritual gift? Why did God short change me? (yes I was that self centered and shallow). Truth be told, I just didn’t lay that much. It was now and again. Not often. But for very long. Not with any depth. I was praying lazy. I wanted the ability without the effort. I wanted the gift without persistence. One day I boldly asked one of three those prayer warriors “How do I get what you have?” She looked at me kindly and yes a little incredulously. “Pray,” she said. “just pray.” Envy blocked the obvious. I took her advice. I prayed that day. And the next. And the one after that. And I haven’t stopped. Sometimes envy is slayed by the simple. I will forever be grateful to Dorothy for her honest, direct, simple and powerful answer.

    1. Shelby says:

      churchmouse, such an obvious thing that is blocked so much by envy. I too pray those prayers to be more eloquent with my prayer and to rattle off scripture like I “wrote the book.”

  7. Karen From Virginia says:

    Good word for today.

  8. Laura says:

    You have no idea how desperately I needed to see this tonight. These last few months have held a lot of transition for me & a lot of envy.

    I literally cried out to God with tears streaming down my face because I haven’t been able to understand why this season of life has been so hard & why my joy disappears in a moment.

    This. Envy. Has stolen my joy. I so needed to be reminded of this tonight!
    Thank you!

    1. Megan says:

      Praying for you, Laura! ♡

    2. Shelby says:

      Laura, you my dear are not alone. I’ll be praying for you! Sometimes balling our eyes out is what we need in order to see the clear road ahead; it washes away our dirt in our sights.. leaving with a fresh new perspective.

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