Summary: This sermon deals with the explosive power of jealousy in a Christmas context.

Just A Little Jealousy

GNLCC 12/5/04 1 Samuel 18:1-9 Matthew 2:1-18

Today we begin to observe the season of Advent. Advent means the coming of Christ to the world. It can refer to the first time Jesus came which is Christmas, or the second time he will come which will be the second coming of Christ. Have you ever asked, why did Jesus come the first time around?

What do we mean when we say that He came to save the world from its sin? The reality is that Jesus came to save you and me as individuals from the things inside us that have separated us from God. Sin is when we do what we want to do, regardless of what God has said about something.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, there is one sin that is going to ruin it for a lot of us. We find it creeping into people’s lives in the Bible, and we find it creeping into our lives in a variety of relationships that we have.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you first started to like somebody. One of the first things you wanted to do after you found out they liked you was to put your exclusive claim on this person. You wanted to say that’s my girlfriend or that’s my boyfriend. If someone told you that someone else also liked the person, you’d almost be ready to declare war on that person. At first a little jealousy seems like a good thing, because it makes the other person you love feel special, but a little jealousy can quickly grow into a monster that will destroy both people.

Envy and jealousy are two of the secret sins, in that they dwell on the inside of us and we can pretend that they are not there but they are. Envy and jealousy are not the same thing. I want you to imagine two little boys, Bob and Fred. Each day Fred has five cookies and Bob has three. Fred is the most popular guy at recess because he has the most cookies. Bob is full of envy because he wants just as many cookies as Fred has if not more. Fred is jealous of Bob, because he fears that Bob will one day have has many cookies as he does and win over the recess crowd

Envy is to want something which belongs to somebody else. Jealousy is the fear that what we have, will be taken away by someone else. Jealousy can show up in all kinds of situations. We can be jealous at our job, jealous of someone on the team who might take our place, jealous of our possessions, but most often our jealousy focuses in on somebody stealing the affection or love we have from another person.

In our Old Testament reading we met Saul. Saul was the first king over God’s people. Saul had come from a very humble background and was at first embarrassed by the thought of becoming king, because he felt so unworthy. When it came time to present him to the people, he was hiding in the baggage because again he just did not feel worthy of the position. But he became king and did a very good job of leading the nation and of leading his armies.

But Saul had a streak inside of him that caused him not to want to listen to others. He especially wanted to change the rules that God gave. Twice he disobeyed God’s explicit orders. The last time, the prophet Samuel told him, “God has rejected you and given your kingdom to another.” From that time on, a little jealousy begin to creep into Saul. He was afraid of losing what he had. Whenever somebody with a lot of potential would rise up with potential for leadership, Saul would put him in a position where he could keep an eye on him, just in case.

God blessed Saul by sending a remarkable young leader to serve in his army. This young man was fully devoted to Saul and would gladly have risked his life for his king. He did so in his personal challenge to the giant Goliath. The young man’s name was David, and David did all that he could to support King Saul. He went into battle after battle to fight the king’s enemies. All the people were happy with King Saul and with David the king’s commander in chief.

And then it happened. One day coming home from a huge victory, the people welcomed David into the streets. The women were dancing and making up songs. Somebody came up with the phrase, Saul has killed his 1,000’s but David his 10,000’s. When Saul heard it, a little jealousy set in. Saul said, “the people give me 1,000 but to David they give 10,000. What more is left for him, except the kingdom.” That little jealousy over the years had been growing. Saul never ever again could see David for the blessing that he was in his life. Jealousy blocks out the good a person may do, and we only see what we want to see, and a lot of time what we see does not exist.

It’s a shame when somebody else does something, but we pay a price. David paid a price for the women’s song. We might pay a price for a phone call somebody makes without our involvement. A jealous person sees things that do not always exist. We see people who are trying to cheat on us who really aren’t. We se people plotting to take our job, who are not thinking about our job. We see family members trying to make us look bad, who are not even aware of us. Saul saw a dangerous rival who did not exist.

Has God sent anyone into your life that could be a real blessing to you, but because of jealousy, you’ve rejected what the person has to offer? God may have sent your spouse a career or success and you feel as though its taking the person away from you, have you looked for the possible blessing that may be involved? Sometimes we listen to what others are saying about a person and jump to our own conclusions. When the women were singing the song, to them it was just a song. They were not asking for David to become king. Saul heard what he wanted to hear.

Who are you listening to in order to fuel your jealousy? Children will often grow up jealous of each other. It’s so easy for husbands and wives to have an unusual and unhealthy amount of jealousy in their relationship. As believers, we can’t afford to listen to everything somebody else is saying. There are people who want to destroy what you have, and all they have to use is your jealousy.

Proverbs 27:4 says that Proverbs 27:4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Did you notice of the three negative emotions of anger, fury and jealousy, jealousy is listed as the most powerful. Jealousy will make us do things we never intended to do. Jealousy is always going to breed the worse form of anger.

The day after Saul heard that little song, Saul picked up a spear as David was playing the harp to sooth Saul’s pain, and Saul tried to kill David with the spear, but he missed. Then Saul tried killing him by sending him into battles he didn’t think David could win.

Then he spent about 14 years chasing David in the hills, deserts and mountains in order to kill him. Saul’s jealousy clouded his entire judgment. He ended up killing an entire city of priests with their wives and children to get information from them that they did not have about David.

Have you ever asked the question, where is my jealousy taking me? Who am I going to destroy in the process? What damage has already been done? How has my judgment been clouded by my jealousy?

We find jealousy in the story of Herod and the wise men. From the outside, King Herod appeared a likeable person. He liked having nice things. He spent huge sums of money to adorn and beautify cities in his kingdom. He had started the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem in a beautiful way. Partly because he wanted to win some of the favor with the Jews. Surely he would be excited about the coming of the Messiah, the birth of the King of the Jews.

But there was a problem. You see even though Herod was a King over the Jews, he was not King of the Jews. He was not from the line of King David. He was not even a descendant of Jacob, but rather of his brother Esau. King Herod was an Edomite, which caused many of the Jews to hate him. Even though he had done much good for the Jews and the country, many of them they never cared for him. Now, wise men are claiming that a star in the East has led them to his country because the true king of the Jews has been born.

Can you imagine the jealousy Herod was beginning to feel, afraid of being replaced. He might lose the little affection he had gained from some of the Jews. He had gone out of his way to please the Jews, even to the point of rebuilding their temple for them and instead of accepting him as their king, they are all going crazy over some child born in some little hick town called Bethlehem.

To him, they were just a bunch of ungrateful people. How many of us have gotten angry because people or family members did not appear grateful for the hard work and sacrifices we did on their behalf? Ever said, “I betcha I won’t do anything else for them.”

Now add jealousy to a person with a temper and you’ve got trouble on your hands. Herod was a person with a temper problem. Sure he could be a likeable person, but he also could very easily yield to the destructive power of his jealousy. He had executed some of his own children and wives, because they had been seen as a threat to overthrow him. How dare anyone take the position that rightfully belonged to him.

Herod’s jealousy was hiding with him just as it was hiding with King Saul. King Saul lied and told his son Jonathan, surely David will not die, while still planning to put him to death. Herod lied and told the wise men, "now you go and make a careful search for the child.

As soon as you find him, report back to me, so that I too may go and worship Him." Jealousy will cause us to also lie so that we can get into the place where we can finally get even.

Herod was so sure he had a sure fire scheme to get rid of this king new born king, that he was able to go on with life as usual. Until he found out that his plan was going to pieces. Each day he waited for the wise men to return. Word finally got back to him, that the wise men had left his country and gone home by a different route. Jealousy turned into rage and that meant somebody was about to get hurt.

The Scriptures tell us that he was so furious, at having been out tricked, that he ordered his soldiers to kill every baby boy in Jerusalem two years old and under. His jealousy led to the sorrow, the pain, the agony, the suffering, and the anguish of many families in Bethlehem that Christmas.

Those families had not done anything wrong to deserve this , nor had their children. Can you imagine the anger and the rage those families must have felt. Just a few days earlier some had announced the joy of their son or daughter being born, and now they are devastated. All because of the jealousy of one man that got out of control.

Sometimes we can see how our jealousy is hurting us, but still choose to hang on to our anger to make our point. We are jealous of people that do not even know we’re jealous of them. They don’t even want what we have. So who do you think is getting high blood pressure and ulcers inside each time we see the person.

Our jealousy is in control of us, and we find ourselves out of control. Before this Christmas is over, you will see some man or woman making the headlines for killing the person he or she loved over jealousy, and some are going to kill members of the other person’s family as well.

Jealousy is not God’s plan for our lives. Never once during our 40 day of purpose did you hear, that part of God’s plan for my life was to be jealous of others. Jealousy is actually a sign of our unbelief in the goodness of God. We’re trying to be God by informing God that, “God you should be giving me this or God you need to make sure that happens to me to.” How many of you know God is big enough to bless others without us having to lose what He has given to us.

Jealousy is a choice to act in a certain way. But God has given us His spirit to put it to death. Look at the sins that rank with jealousy in Galatians 5:19 Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

What do we do with this jealousy inside of us. First of all, let’s be honest and admit it to ourselves and to God. See if you can discover where it was the jealousy came from in the first place. Most of the time jealousy is rooted in some fear. Fear is the opposite of the love we are called to show to one another. Some jealousy springs out of a competition we established in our own minds. The other person may not even know about the competition.

Second let’s look at the damage our jealousy and mistrust is doing to those around us. Who are we driving away that God intended to be a blessing in our lives. It’s hard living with jealous people because they will make you walk on eggshells around them. Let’s be willing to ask their forgiveness for the pain we have caused them.

Third recognize our jealousy is an area of our lives in which God wants to do a new work in and through us. Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we truly needed his help. Jesus was so confident in His mission from God, that He never had time to be jealous of anyone else. His goal was to complete the work God the Father called Him to do. His desire was to share the glory He had received with all of His followers, that we might become one.

God’s desire for us this Christmas is the fruit of the Spirit. We can find them in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Will you allow the coming of Christ into your life this advent in order to remove that which will destroy you and those around you. God has sent His Son Jesus into the world that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

Sermon Outline Pastor Rick

Just A Little Jealousy

12/5/04 1 Samuel 18:1-9 Matt. 2:1-18

A. Advent—The Coming Of Christ

1. The First Coming Christmas

2. The Second Coming

3. Why Did Jesus Come

B. The Sin That Would Destroy Us

1. That’s My Girl/Boyfriend

2. Envy & Jealousy Bob & Fred

3. Just A Few Cookies

4. Envy—It’s Yours But I Want

5. Jealousy It’s Mine And I’ll….

6. Jealousy Is All Over The Place

C. A King Named Saul

1. From Humble Beginnings

2. A Hard Headed Streak

3. Rejected By God As King

4. Afraid Of The Competition

5. A Blessing Called David

6. Willing To Die For A King

D. A Song Changes A Destiny

1. Saul His Slain His 1,000

2. David His 10,000

3. Jealousy Starts To Grow

4. Blindness Follows Jealousy

5. Paying The Price For Others

6. Seeing Things That Do Not Exist

7. Cheaters, Backstabbers, Rivals

8. Missing God’s Blessings

9. Be Careful Who You Listen To

E. Three Powerful Emotions

Proverbs 27:4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

1. Anger, Fury, Jealousy

2. From Jealousy To Murder

3. Wasted Energy, Destruction Of The Innocent

4. But What About Us

G. Herod—A Man Wanting To Be Liked

1. Herod Does A Lot For Jewish Nation

2. Herod Learns Of The King Of The Jews

3. Herod Not Jewish King

4. Jacob & Esau

5. Jacob—Jews Esau—Edomites

H. Jealousy Takes Root In King Herod

1. Afraid Of What He Might Lose

2. Who Is This Baby In The Hicks

3. Jealousy & Temper—Look Out

4. Lies-Just To Get Even

5. Wise Men Take Another Route

6. The Massacre In Bethlehem

7. From Joy To Suffering

8. Who Is Being Hurt

I. Jealousy Is Not God’s Plan

1. A Sign Of Unbelief

2. God You Need To Do This

Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

J. What Shall We Do With Jealousy

1. Be Honest And Admit

2. Where Did It Come From

3. Fear And Love

4. Examine The Damage Done & Being Done

5. Being Willing To Forgive And Being Forgiven

6. Opportunity For Spiritual Growth

H. Understanding That Jesus Came

1. Jesus Is Our Model

2. Do What God Called You To Do

3. Be Filled With Fruit Of The Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.