Jealous for Jesus

Pastor DaronCrossLife Blog

King Saul lost his throne in the kingdom of Israel because he saw it as his own kingdom, not God’s. Therefore, he viewed young David as a threat to his throne, his kingdom, his self-centeredness.

When Saul, David and the Israelite soldiers came back after David had eliminated Goliath, they were greeted with cheers and celebrating. They praised Saul for defeating thousands and David for defeating ten thousands. Then the Bible tells us, “Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. ‘They have credited David with tens of thousands,’ he thought, ‘but me with only thousands’” (1 Samuel 18:8).

Two ten-year-olds received a trophy for third place. One of them went home crying and complaining. The other went home cheering and celebrating. 

The one who cried and complained couldn’t believe that she hadn’t won first place, because she deserved it and she was certain she was much better than the kid who won first place. The one who cheered and celebrated couldn’t believe that he had won third place, because there are so many other deserving kids and he thought a number of them were much better than he was.

David gained his throne in the kingdom of Israel because he saw it as God’s kingdom not his own. David burned not with jealousy of Saul, but with jealousy for God, for Jesus, for the kingdom of God. 

We hear it in David’s faith-forged courage that face Goliath for the sake of God’s honor. We sing it with David in his psalms worshipping God (and even predicting the saving work of Jesus). And like David, we live it today. 

How is that possible, if we’re so easily self-centered and jealous? Because we don’t look to behave our way into God’s kingdom. We humbly ask to inherit it as God promises. We simply appeal to God’s mercy and love.

Here’s a powerful promise in the Bible, telling you that you can give “joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12-14). 

Like David, be jealous for Jesus more than you are jealous of others. Love what Jesus loves. Want what Jesus wants. Want to love Jesus more today than you did yesterday. Want more of Jesus. Worship Jesus more than anyone or anything. 

Then, here’s how you’ll live. Others getting good things more than you doesn’t make you complain. Others being blessed by God in ways that you aren’t doesn’t ruin your faith. Others getting to do what you want to do doesn’t threaten you, because you know who you get to be. 

You know who you are, because you know whose you are. A child of the King who loves you so much that he gives you his kingdom. A child of the King you love so much that you give him yours.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, you are King and I’m not, though I often want to be. I confess my desire for the throne, and joyfully concede that you are my true King. Rule, Lord! Rule my heart and life, as I gladly trust, love and serve you. Amen.

FURTHER MEDITATION: Here is a video of the message I preached on Sunday, with more details about the story of Saul and David.