Pastor Edward Brouwer 1-20-19 “Green Eyed Monster” 1 Samuel 18

I trust you are well and have stayed warm and safe with all the snow.

Today’s sermon is entitled The Green Eyed Monster. You can listen to it here on the Providence Podcast:

In the reading today Saul’s affection and appreciation for David turns to jealousy. How does envy start and where does it lead us? The solution to the problem of envy is love and self-abdication.

The problem of Saul’s envy started with the song of the maiden’s of Israel. They compared Saul and David. Comparison is inevitable–it’s what we do with it that counts. Saul was galled, felt threatened and determined to “deal” with David. Here is the progression of his response:
1) Envy made him paranoid (David is a threat!)
2) Envy opened Saul to fits of rage (a dark spirit broods over him)
3) Envy makes Saul capricious (yes you can have my daughter then: no you can’t)
4) Envy made Saul plot to kill David. (Envy causes us to rejoice in the downfall of others).
5) Envy consumed Saul with Fear (Michal loves him, David is successful: I’m in trouble!)

YOU “DO” ENVY AND, IN THE END, ENVY “DOES” YOU. In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul writes “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind”. Saul was the living embodiment of Fear–lacking power, love or a sound mind.

Love is the antidote to envy. We see this love in Jonathan. This kindred spirit, brotherly friendship that was selfless. In Jonathan’s love for David he experienced the freedom of self-forgetfulness.

Jonathan’s love for David leads to self-abdication. He gives his royal robe, belt, and sword/bow to David. He’s saying “you’re the True King and I will serve you”.

God, through the gospel is calling us to abdicate our natural tendency to “rule” our own life. Through His love in Christ he enables us to divest ourselves of our robes and sword–and in exchange, in a counter-intuitive reality, Christ gives us HIS robes and His Sword. His robes of righteousness and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. He disarms us of our self destructive ways and arms us with true life. The gospel frees us from envy because it enables us to get our eyes off ourselves and on to Jesus. The gospel frees us from comparison and jealousy and fills us with the awareness that we are deeply loved as cherished sons and daughters. Where is room for jealousy? The gospel empowers us to overcome the tendency to control, and frees us to pray for others and act in grace and love toward others, rather than envy others.
Pray that God will fill us with a fresh awareness of His love, our birthright inheritance is His robes and the armor of the Spirit.