Charity Envieth Not
1 Samuel 18:1-9 (1) And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (2) And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. (3) Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. (4) And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. (5) And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants. (6) And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. (7) And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. (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. Saul, through sin, had eventually driven the spirit of God from himself (1SAM 16:14) and without that guiding, abiding influence, he was quickly given over to the impulses of the flesh. This chapter sees Saul go from king to pawn, the servant of his own corruption animated by carnal instincts and a natural spirit to despise and envy a man better than himself. "Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy" (JAM 4:5)? It is a black heart that reasons, "I can endure my own darkness but not another man's light." Saul degraded into an unstable, sinister fiend and it is no wonder, "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work" (JAM 3:16). None can stand before envy (PRO 27:4), not even the envier for envy is "...the rottenness of the bones" (PRO 14:30). Megadoses of Citrical are inadequate to compensate for the osteo-degeneration of sin: "...my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed" (PSA 31:10). Sin brings on much trouble for the flesh and the soul. We do well, therefore, to remember Saul and so "Quench not the Spirit" (1TH 5:19), "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (EPH 4:30). Our text today notes "And Saul eyed David from that day and forward" (v.9). Against that, the opening verses of this chapter set forth the beginning of a great love and friendship between Saul's son Jonathan and David (1SAM 18:1-4). Jonathan loved David from that day and forward. Their friendship is an admirable one that could be a model for brethren of a church of Jesus Christ. It was said that "...the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (1SAM 18:1). Believers should thus relate one to another, "...knit together in love..." (COL 2:2), "...the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (EPH 4:16), "...likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind....in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves" (PHIL 2:2-3). May such a spirit never be quenched, and perfect love bind new converts to the body (and vice-versa) from that day and forward. Blessed be the tie that binds hearts in Christian love: "...charity envieth not" (1CO 13:4).