Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 21-24
The story of David and Saul is such a sad one. David comes across as a sort of Robin Hood, hiding in the wilderness with his band of "distressed, those in debt and discontented." (22:2) Instead of Friar Tuck, there is Ahimelech, the priest. David is even able to be a master of disguise as he poses before an enemy king as a madman. Jonathon is still his great ally and friend. Saul, despite the issues of the kingdom, is obsessed with chasing after David.
Saul is facing enemies on two fronts; the physical and the relational. He spends his time poorly, chasing after a shepherd familiar with the hill country and caves and killing priest, when there is a kingdom to be established and a more threatening enemy to curtail.
One of the two main commandments is "love your neighbor as yourself."
Relationships are so important. Keeping them clean and, not only intact but, strong is essential in order to do the tasks God has set out for each of us every day. If our main relationships are broken, we are distracted from the LORD's true work in our lives.
"Don't let the sun go down on your anger."
This is good advice from God's word. Imagine what would have happened for Saul and David had Saul figured out that David was for him, not against him. He could have used their joint energy to clear the land of the Philistines. No matter what everyone else saw, that is, David's faithfulness, Saul would not believe it. His idol had become his own popularity and pride, and the more he tried to defend it, the more it slipped from his hands.
Jealousy distracts and defiles us, just as having relations with women would have weakened and defiled David's men in battle. (21:4-6) When we are focusing on building up our own kingdom instead of God's, we lose out on feasting on the Bread of the Presence.
Most of us are fighting battles that are silly and avoidable, ones of our own making, while the true calling of the LORD is being ignored or given less attention.