Jealousy Around the King (2 Samuel 19-20)

Series: David, a man after God's heart


We continue our study, today, in 2 Samuel, Chapter 19-20. Open your Bibles, there, at this time.

And as I begin my lesson, this afternoon, I would like for you to try to remember a time when, perhaps, you had strong feelings of jealousy. I am talking about jealousy, in this sense. Think about a time when you were slighted and someone else was favored, unjustly, instead of you. Maybe some of you will remember, this afternoon, a time when you were a child and when you thought you were slighted and one of your brothers or sisters was favored. Maybe some of you will remember, this afternoon, a time in high school. Maybe it will have to do with a coach or a teacher, who slighted you, and so, you felt jealousy. Then for some of you, you will remember a time, not so long ago, when you were at work. Perhaps you have felt slighted, in the office. Perhaps you have felt someone else was given a promotion or thanks that they should not have been given. And you felt jealous! Now, if you can remember a time when you were jealous, I would like for you to also remember all that went with that, inside yourself. Because, this afternoon, as we begin our study, in 2 Samuel, Chapters 19-20, we will look at an event, in the life of David, that generated jealousy. We will actually see three instances where people show jealousy, of the kind I just described!

So let’s begin, this afternoon, in 2 Samuel 19:5. I hope you remember how Absalom, David’s son, has been killed and how David has been broken-hearted, even though his son was a nasty individual. Now, David has been crying in his fortress and, as he is mourning, his soldiers are waiting. They are waiting for the King to come out and say, “thank you for the victory!” They are waiting for the King to show some kind of appreciation. But, as of yet, David has said nothing and the soldiers are growing a little discouraged! They are thinking about deserting David. And so, Joab comes to David and Joab is going to tell the King that he needs to go out and encourage the men. The only problem is, Joab’s words are very harsh! And Joab begins to say things he does not need to say. I will let you be the judge. Listen to his words, in verses 5-7, “….” Could you hear the harshness - the insensitivity for a man, who lost his son? Did you notice that he said things he didn’t need to say? Did he really need to say, “David, you hate those, who love you!” And, “All the men and the commanders, of the men, mean nothing to you!” He didn’t have to say all of that to get his point across. But, f you look carefully, underlying all of this, you’re going to find that Joab is, probably, a little jealous. And Joab is, probably, feeling slighted. After all, the King is mourning a man, named Absalom, and Joab did not like Absalom, for many reasons. And the King has not said, “Thank you,” to the men. And Joab has begun to think that the King has favored Absalom, unjustly. And so, the feeling of jealousy has begun to bombard his heart. And he speaks harshly. And he speaks words he ought not to speak! Jealousy is the problem! But, King David is very humble. He listens to Joab and he goes out to his men and he begins to encourage. And while all of that is taking place, we begin the second stage of the story.

Back, on the other side of the Jordan, in Israel, the people have a major problem. They don’t have a king! They have rebelled against the kingship of David. They had asked Absalom to be their king. But, now, Absalom is dead! And these people are without a king. An, now, they wonder, “What should we do?” And all over the nation, everywhere, except the tribe of Judah, they are beginning to talk about this problem. And with regard to what they are talking about, 2 Samuel 19:9-10 says, “….” So that’s the message across all Israel. Those words are everywhere, except the tribe of Judah. I am not, all together, sure why that is so! Maybe, Judah is very embarrassed. Maybe, they are thinking that King David will be more upset with them because the rebellion of Absalom had its strongest foothold, in Judah. Remember, it took place in one of their cities, named Hebron!

But David is from the tribe of Judah. And you always have a soft spot for your home, in your heart. And so, David begins to send a message to the elders of Judah. The message, in verses 11-12, says, “….” And then David, to encourage that, does a beautiful gesture. He forgives the commander of Absalom, who was from Judah. And he promises him the command of his army. So, Amasa, Absalom’s general, is granted the place of Joab, David’s general. Now, that may sound unfair to you. Joab has been with David for a long time. He has helped him to access the throne; he has fought for him. So why will David do that? Well, perhaps because Joab has been harsh with him. Perhaps it was because, earlier, Joab had disobeyed, in 2 Samuel, Chapter 3, when he killed Abner, and again, when he killed Absalom. I don’t know. I know, though, that David did not blink. And we are told, that through this move, David won the heart of all Judea.

Now, go if you would, to Chapter 19, verse 40. Judea has gone to retrieve David, on the other side of the Jordan. All of the troops, of Judah, are there. But only half the men, of Israel, are present. And there is a problem brewing. The men, of Israel, are a little offended over what is happening. Remember, it was, originally, their idea to get David. So, they look at David and say to him, in verse 41, “….” And, before the king can even open his mouth, the people, of Judea, begin to speak. And they say, in verses 42-43, “….” Do you know why there is so much ugliness? Do you know what the problem is, in the segment of their story? The problem is jealousy. The people, of Israel, are looking at David and how Judah treats him, and how he treats Judah. And they feel slighted. They feel like Judah is getting what it doesn’t deserve. They are favored, unjustly. So, the words get harsh and the factions are formed. And so, in Chapter 20, we read, “….” Now what a good place for a troublemaker! If you want to cause problems, there is no better time than the times of jealousy. Look at how well the troublemaker succeeds! Verse 2 says, “….” Now David has another major rebellion, on his hands. But, by now, he has experience with troublemakers and rebellion. He knows, by now, they need to be handled quickly. You don’t waste any time with the troublemakers. You hear rebellion; you stop it quickly. And so David calls his new army leader and he orders him to summon all the troops of Judah. He gives three days to do that!

But, in verse 5, we read that Amasa is delayed and he takes longer than three days. David knows time is urgent and critical. So he turns to one of his long-time military friends, Abishai, and he sends the commander after the troublemaker, with his own soldiers of Jerusalem. But now, Abishai is Joab’s brother. And Abishai, as all brothers, has loyalty for his family. So, he takes Joab with him and they go with David’s private troops to the Rock of Gibeon and, there, they seem to wait. We read, in verse 8, that, there, they met Amasa, coming back with the rest of Judah. And, now, Joab is dressed in his fine military tunic; he has his leather belt, his sheath, and his dagger, in his sheath. And, somehow, he lets his dagger fall. I don’t believe it was an accident. And he reaches down, picks it up and then, we read in verses 9-10, “….” Now I ask you why? Why did Joab kill Amasa? It all has to do with jealousy. Joab felt very slighted. He felt that Amasa, a previous traitor, had received favor from the king that he should not have received. And, now, that jealousy had led him all the way to murder. Now, I want to finish the story, here, this afternoon. You can read, at home, how Sheba was destroyed; but I want to stop, here, and concentrate on the events about jealousy! There are a lot of lessons, here. I wish I had time to read about those, who lead selfish rebellion. But, I don’t have time. So, I’ll concentrate on jealousy. Following is lesson #1, about jealousy.

I. Jealousy is exceedingly dangerous!

The reason is jealousy never stands alone. It never ends, just with the feeling. Paul says, “….” Now, notice the association of words. Because I believe every time you find jealousy of the kind we saw, this afternoon, you find factions and you find outbursts of anger. And you find slander, gossip and disorder.

Look at the three stages of our story, this afternoon. Isn’t it what you find? Don’t you see quarreling, harshness, factions, outbursts of anger and even murder? I tell you, this afternoon, jealousy, in our lives, is extremely dangerous. It never stands, by itself. Do you remember Genesis 37:4? Jacob has favored his son, Joseph. And that particular verse says that when the older brothers saw the favoritism, they hated him and could not speak a kind word concerning him! See, they felt slighted. They felt Joseph was getting too much favor. So, it led them to harshness, to hatred and to sell their brother into slavery. It was all due to jealousy. Jealousy is extremely dangerous.

II. Deal with jealousy, quickly.

Lesson #2 is this. When you have jealousy, in your life, deal with it. And deal with it, quickly. Now I don’t know all the ways to deal with it, this afternoon, but I will tell you how I deal with it. When I feel slighted, when I feel someone else is being favored, I stop and examine all the facts. And, many times, I am shown that my feelings are misguided; that I really don’t have a reason to feel jealous. So, I am able to leave jealousy, behind. But, sometimes, I find that I am right; that I have been slighted, that someone else has been favored. So, I have learned to pray. I have learned to thank God for my own blessings. I have learned to trust him, for advancement, in life. See, we all can go forward without men’s favor. Our future does not depend on people; it depends on God. And if God wants us to be in a certain position, he will put us there. If not, he will richly bless us, wherever we end up.

So really, after I pray, I have learned to rejoice for people. I have learned to support them! I have learned to trust God.

III. Don’t create jealousy.

Lesson #3 is this. I believe it’s a hard one. It is this. Don’t ever conduct yourself in such a way that can produce jealousy in the heart of another person. If you ever produce jealousy, it will not stop, without bitter feelings. It will lead the person to many sins and, perhaps, all the way to destruction. All parents, this afternoon, need to pay attention to this, especially if you have more than one child. Pay great attention; be very careful not to produce jealousy in one child, against another! I know that is not easy, that you can’t necessarily treat all your children exactly alike! But if you notice, a child is getting upset because he feels slighted, go and speak to him or her. Explain your action, but especially, listen and respond, accordingly.

Now this warning that we are talking about is also true for married couples. Husband, don’t ever, ever make you wife feel jealous! Don’t you ever make her feel slighted; that you favor someone or something, over her! Not another person, not a hobby, not a career. Don’t ever put jealousy in the heart of your wife because it will not stop with just a feeling. And you, wife, I give the same message. Don’t put jealousy in the heart of your husband! Learn from David’s story. Maybe David could have done better, to prevent this. So, don’t follow a bad pattern. Don’t fill a heart with jealousy or you might destroy the person.


Maybe, this afternoon, someone has had a problem with jealousy. Maybe you put it in the heart of another person. Maybe you need to come, asking forgiveness. Or, maybe, you need to come asking for prayers. Respond, this afternoon as we stand and sing