1 Samuel 18:7-9—As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
The green-eyed monster, jealousy, reared its ugly head in the heart of King Saul. On the return from the battlefield, the maidens sang this song. Saul may have been a bit on edge because of Samuel’s prediction about the kingdom no longer belonging to him. This song stirred an ugly spirit up in him. He was the one they sang praise about before. Now, someone else is the chief person in the song, and he is credited with more than the king! Be careful with your words of praise for men. The enemy can use them in destructive ways. “Welcome home pastor. Your assistant did such a great job, we forgot you were gone,” a well-meaning board member says. The enemy places a wedge of competition between two people who are striving for the Kingdom of God. If one of them has an ear that will listen to the flesh, they will never be striving together again. Friendly voices have unwittingly sowed the seed of competition. Saul could never look at David the same way again. There may have been more to it than that. It may have also been backed by the fact that Saul saw in David what he had lost. He saw the love of God and faith in God’s word that once was so real to him but now seemed so distant. He saw the humility of this young man and recognized he was gone. Those are the assets that put him on the throne. Those are the assets that make you useful to God. Don’t allow words of praise for others cause jealousy in you.