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From Eternity Past

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    The Demon of Jealousy Enters Saul's Heart

    Saul opened his heart to the spirit of jealousy by which his soul was poisoned. The king of Israel was opposing his will to the will of the Infinite One. He allowed his impulses to control his judgment until he was plunged into a fury of passion. He had paroxysms of rage, when he was ready to take the life of any who dared to oppose his will. From this frenzy he would pass into despondency and self-contempt, and remorse would take possession of his soul.EP 472.2

    He loved to hear David play upon his harp, and the evil spirit seemed to be charmed away for the time. But one day when the youth was bringing sweet music from his instrument, accompanying his voice as he sang the praises of God, Saul suddenly threw his spear at the musician. David was preserved by God and fled from the rage of the maddened king.EP 472.3

    As Saul's hatred of David increased, he became more and more watchful to find an opportunity to take his life, but none of his plans against the anointed of the Lord were successful. David trusted in Him who is strong to deliver. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10), and David's prayer was that he might walk before God in a perfect way.EP 472.4

    The people were not slow to see that David was a competent person. Affairs entrusted to his hand were managed with wisdom and skill. The counsels of the young man were safe to follow, while the judgment of Saul was at times unreliable.EP 472.5

    Saul stood in fear of him, since it was evident the Lord was with him. The king deemed that the life of David cast reproach upon him, since by contrast it presented his own character to disadvantage. Envy made Saul miserable. What untold mischief has this evil trait worked in our world! Envy is the offspring of pride and if it is entertained in the heart, it will lead eventually to murder.EP 473.1

    The king kept watch, hoping to find some occasion of indiscretion that might serve as an excuse to take the young man's life and still be justified before the nation for his evil act. He laid a snare, urging David to war against the Philistines with still greater vigor, promising as a reward the eldest daughter of the royal house. To this proposal David's modest answer was, “Who am I? and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” The monarch manifested his insincerity by wedding the princess to another.EP 473.2

    Michal, Saul's youngest daughter, was offered the young man on condition that evidence be given of the slaughter of a specified number of their foes. “Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines,” but David returned a victor from the battle, to become the king's son-in-law. “Michal Saul's daughter loved David,” and the monarch, enraged, was still more assured that this was the man whom the Lord had said was better than he and who should reign in his place. Throwing off all disguise, he issued a command to the officers of the court to take the life of the one he hated.EP 473.3

    Jonathan presented before the king what David had done to preserve the honor and life of the nation, and what terrible guilt would rest upon the murderer of the one whom God had used to scatter their enemies. The conscience of the king was touched. “And Saul sware, As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain.” David was brought to Saul, and he ministered in his presence as in the past.EP 473.4

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