was the star player on the baseball team. He was good in school, too,
and stood at the head of his class. One day a new boy named Tom moved
to town. He was the same age and in the same grade of school. Before long
Bill found out that Tom could play ball better than he could, and that
he, too, was tops in his class—and Bill didn’t like it Envy
of the new boy began to fill his thoughts, even though he knew that this
was wrong. (Envy means discontent because of the possessions or good fortune
of another. Covetousnes.) If Bill allowed envy to grow in his heart, would
it make any difference to him, or to anyone else? What would happen? Our
lesson today is about two men. One of them allowed envy to grow in his
heart—the other did not. We will see what happened to each of them.
Jonathan was a prince, the son of King Saul. He was brave and strong.
His father had told him many times that he would be king some day,. After
David met and killed Goliath, he was brought before the king. Jonathan
was there. He watched and listened as David stood there before the king.
They were about the same age and the same size. They were both young and
strong and fearless. They both loved God and served Him. The Bible says,
“And Jonathan and David made a covenant, because Jonathan loved
David as his own soul (life).” A covenant is a promise or agreement
between two people . Jonathan and David promised each other to be friends
all their lives, and always show love and kindness to each other. Jonathan
took off his own robe and his girdle, or belt, and gave these to David
to wear. David was dressed in his shepherd’s clothing, and he had
no fine clothes to wear in the palace before the king. Jonathan gave him
his own sword and his own bow. In the Eastern countries, this was the
very highest honor that coud be shown to anyone, to give as a gift something
that had been worn by the king or his eldest son. Jonathan did this because
of his love for David. He loved him, not only in word, but in deed as
well. That means that he did not just say that he loved him but he proved
it by the way he lived. And that’s the way we should do. When we
say that we love someone it’s important to show this by our actions.
After this King Saul told David he would not let him go back to his father’s
house again. He set him over part of the army. Everyone loved David because
he was brave and behaved very wisely. The Lord blessed him there and helped
him day by day. All the people in the land greatly respected David after
his victory over Goliath. This made King Saul envious of him. Saul knew
that God was not with him any more, for Samuel had told Saul that because
of his sin he would lose the kingdom. When Saul saw that the Lord blessed
David, he wa afraid and wanted to get rid of him. He sent David out to
fight against the Philistines and thought, “He will be killed in
battle.” But David came back safely because God was with him. Many
times Saul tried to kill David with a javelin or sword. One day Saul spoke
to Jonathan and to his servants, even telling them that they should watch
for a chance to kill David. Jonathan was a faithful friend to David. He
warned David that his father was trying to kill him. Then he went back
to Saul to defend David. Jonathan reminded Saul how David had risked his
life to fight the Philistines when everyone else was afraid. Saul listened
to Jonathan and said, “I will not kill him.” But before long
Saul had changed his mind and sent his servants to David’s house
to slay him. But David managed to get away just in time. Some time later
David got word to Jonathan, asking him to meet him. He said, “Why
does your father hate me and try to kill me?” They talked for a
long time. Then Jonathan said, “I will find out if it is dangerous
for you to come back to the palace to live, and I will let you know.”
Jonathan went again to his father to talk with him about David. This time
Saul became very angry. He said, “As long as David lives, you will
never be king. He must to put to death.” Jonathan said again, “But
why? What has David done to deserve death?” Then Saul became so
angry at Jonathan that he threw his javelin at him and tried to kill him
because of his friendship with David. Jonathan knew then that it would
not be safe for David to return. He felt so sad about this that he could
not even eat.
David was in hiding, but he and Jonathan arranged to meet in a field outside
the city. They ran to meet each other and put their arms around each other
and cried, even though they were both strong men. Jonathan said, “Remember
our covenant of kindness between us and the members of our households.”
Jonathan went back to the palace, but David went back into hiding. They
were such good friends that even today after thousands of years we hear
the expression “They are like David and Jonathan” when we
refer to two very close friends.
Did Jonathan ever show any envy of David? Never. He knew that he would
never be king now, even though his father had always told him that the
kingdom would be his, but his heart was filled with love toward David.
And there was no place for envy. He risked his life in meeting David,
for he was a faithful friend.
When ENVY entered King Saul’s heart, it was at first just a thought,
a little thing. But it did not stay small. It grew and filled his heart.
And other things followed envy. HATRED came, and MURDER.. Have you ever
envied somebody because he could do something better than you could, or
because she was prettier or more clever? If we belong to the Lord Jesus,
we know that this is wrong. But how can we have victory over GIANT ENVY?
The Bible tells us how to defeat this giant. 1 John 3:18 says, “Little
children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth”
The apostle John wrote these words when he was an old man that give the
answer. When he said, “my little children,” he meant all of
us, no matter how old we are. You see, we are all like little children
in God’s family. Will your problem be solved by not talking to God?
No. God tells you in the Bible exactly what to do. He says to confess
your sin. That means to tell God things you do that are wrong. He promises
if you confess your sin, He will forgive you – make you clean –
from all sin. God knows all things. He knows if you love Him and He knows
when you sin. He knows when you are embarrassed about something you have
done or said. He knows and understands when you don’t feel like
talking to Him. Why do you sometimes not feel like praying? One reason
may be because you have sinned, and when you did, you hurt (grieved) your
best friend, the Lord Jesus Christ. So before you can enjoy talking with
Him again, you have to fix that hurt.
If you have trusted Jesus as your Saviour, you are still part of God’s
family. You will always be part of His family .When you were born, you
were born into Adam’s family. When you received Jesus as Saviour,
you were born into God’s family. Jesus has paid for your sins on
the cross. God wants you to confess to Him when you do something wrong.
That means to tell Him what you’ve done. Tell Him you’re sorry.
God is faithful to forgive you. Thank Him for that forgiveness.
For some of you, if you don’t feel like praying, it may be because
you are not yet Jesus’ friend. If you believe Jesus died for you
and receive Him as your Saviour, He will forgive all your sins. He will
be your very best friend forever and someday you will live with Him in
Heaven. God’s word says, “For God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should
not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) If you know you have
done wrong things, but you believe Jesus died for your sin, you can be
forgiven right now and belong to God forever.
Remember our story in which Bill was envious of Tom because Tom was a
baseball player and a good student? If Bill will confess this sin of envy
to the Lord and ask God to help him, he will find that these wrong feelings
will leave. The Lord will help him to be kind to this new boy. He may
find that he will become one of his best friends, as well.
Father, thank You for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for sinners.
We have all sinned for we have all been envious at some time. We confess
our sin to you. Teach us to be a faithful friend as David and Jonathan
were to one another. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Copyright Material BCM International