1 Samuel 18

Few people in the Bible exhibited as much anger as did King Saul.

Saul’s anger seemed to erupt when David returned from battle and the women greeted him with the song “Saul has slain his thousands.” The Scriptures tell us “Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him” (Sam. 18:7, 8).

In his anger and jealousy Saul:

  • Twice threw his spear at David, trying to pin David to the wall (see 1 Sam. 18:10,11, 19:9, 10).
  • Put David in a position of authority, hoping that David would fail to lead wisely and thus be discredited (see Sam, 18:12-15).
  • Required that David kill one hundred Philistines before he would give him his daughter in marriage, hoping that David would die while fighting the Philistines (see 1Sam. 18:25-29).
  • Pursued David continually for more than a decade, forcing David to live in exile and move frequently from hiding place to hiding place (see 1 Sam. 24: 26).

Not only did Saul pursue David without mercy, but he ordered the murder of those who helped David. He even tuned on his own son with murderous intent (see 1 Sam. 20:30).

Saul’s anger had no end.

It is easy to see anger at work in a person such as Saul. Violent outburst leads to a boiling rage that manifests itself repeatedly over time.

The angry person has visible changes in physical appearance, such as dilated eyes and tense muscles. Internally, blood pressure rises, and the stomach feels as if it is tied in knots.

It is far more difficult to recognize anger in ourselves. We tend to tolerate a great deal of anger in our personal lives. Some even see anger as a sign of strength or power.

God’s Word, however, forbids such an ungodly tolerance for anger.

That kind of anger damages emotional health and wellness. God closely links “wrath” with the work of the evil one in our lives. So the Scriptures admonish us clearly:

“Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:26,27).

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