So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David (I Samuel 18:9 NLT).
The women sang, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” (v. 7), making Saul furious. Pride and jealousy prompted his downfall.
Why was Saul angry? David got what Saul wanted, recognition. Egotism seemed to set a pattern for Saul’s life. He sought the applause of people rather than the approval of God. Jealousy in the eye originates from pride in the heart. Saul sought to destroy the one he envied. The truth of the matter is that David pursued neither the power nor the pomp of the kingdom. Vanity always distorts the truth.
People do not care how much money or fame you have, as long as it is not more than they possess. It’s all about a comparison game we play. It’s not really about the wealth or the notoriety but what we think these things say about us. To feel good about ourselves we have to see ourselves as a little better than others. When we are continually comparing ourselves to others, it leads to either pride or unbelief. The former if we see ourselves as better than others. The latter if we feel others are better than we are. Either way, it leads to a downward spiral with God and man.
What is the solution for this problem? Only compare yourself with God. When Christ is our yardstick, the resulting response is humility. Where pride and envy had brought about Saul’s demise, modesty and kindheartedness ushered in David’s promotion.