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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Stop Saying His Name!

1 Samuel 18:7-9

Verse 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

While David is adjusting to his new found fame, the king is going to have to come to accept what David’s fame means for him and his kingdom.

As the first human king over the whole of Israel, King Saul didn’t have the confidence of a dynasty. He had a great desire to see his son, Jonathan, take over the throne after his reign but this young shepherd was gaining too much popularity and the king was getting nervous. His fear wasn’t merely about the possibility that his son would lose the title but that it may come to the point that the king himself would be killed by David so that he could take over.

In moments of anger we can lose grasp of logical thinking and that seems to be where Saul was at this point. His anger and jealousy of the younger man had him missing the truth about David, the shepherd’s character and even the obvious friendship between the prince and David. His heart was turning bitter against David and David had done nothing to deserve this change of trust. Every time Saul saw the young man his mind would start replaying the things that made him mad at David.

That is how bitterness works. We start believing every bad thing about that person. If their name comes up we tend to twist whatever is being said to be a negative situation and know they are to blame for whatever unhappy scenario that we are imagining. The longer we allow the bitter attitude to grow in our hearts the bigger the issue with that person becomes. In fact, it may not be long before that bitterness will rub off to other people. It may cause us to start being bitter about those who are close to the person, ruining even more relationships. It can also start us gossiping about the person which in turn causes others to build bitterness towards them. Bitterness is an emotional cancer that reveals a spiritual illness in us.

Saul wasn’t angry at David because the boy was doing anything wrong, Saul was angry because David was doing too well. Saul’s issue was that he knew David’s winning spirit was making him an easy choice for the people. This chant from the people reminded the king of what Samuel had told him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you.” (1 Samuel 15:28) Saul now knew who the old prophet was talking about.

Making It Personal

Who are you bitter towards? Why do they bring such anger up in your heart? What do you need to forgive them for?

Making It Personal Kids

Do you have someone that you dislike so much that you get upset just hearing their name? Why do they make you that mad? Do you need to forgive them about something?

Closing Prayer

Father, forgive us for allowing bitterness to take root in our hearts. Give us wisdom about how to deal with hurts in ways that bring You glory and help us grow spiritually. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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