The green eyed monster. Many have named jealousy in that way. You may have also heard the phrase “he/she was green with envy.”
The phrase was actually coined by Shakespeare in two of his plays, the Merchant of Venice and the third act of Othello. It is believed that Shakespeare was referring to jealousy as an illness (sick people sometimes appear green) that comes through the eyes, when one sees something that causes one to be envious.
As we read the story of Saul and David, we find jealousy all over the place. Saul had failed as Israel’s first king, mainly because he failed to obey God’s directions and remain faithful to his call as king. David had been chosen to follow Saul as king, but David was reluctant to take the throne from Saul, preferring to wait until God directed the change of leadership. That is why David spares Saul’s life on a number of occasions while Saul was hunting David. David refused to raise his hand against God’s anointed leader (even though he had been anointed as Israel’s next king).
Saul had no such qualms, as he tried repeatedly to pin David to walls with spears. That is problem with jealousy. It causes you to act irrationally, impulsively and in ways that are not in your best interest. Jealousy steals your joy, it ruins your dreams and ultimately makes your life miserable. Hence the monster reference from Shakespeare.
As you read these stories about Saul, pay attention to the way jealousy controls him and then maybe look into your own life to see what triggers your green-eyed monster. We all have one, and different things trigger that transformation in us. For some it is seeing a coworker get a promotion, for others it is seeing the new car the neighbours have, for other it is seeing the relational success of another married couple. Envy comes in all shapes and sizes and there is a reason God warns us about it in the 10 Commandments. Envy leads you to covet what someone else has. What’s your trigger?
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 7,27, 31, 34, & 52