How to Get Drunk and Act Stupid – Without Alcohol
And Saul was very angry . . . He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands . . . ”I Samuel 18:8
While in college, I once listened to a popular athlete brag that he could date any woman on campus. They all want me. I was repulsed by his monstrous pride. What a jerk! Still though, he was popular, and I was jealous. It was not that I wanted to date every woman on campus, I just wanted to be wanted like that. I wanted to be the king.
King Saul, knew a similar jealousy in today’s passage. After the Goliath episode, David’s popularity soared. The narrative states that as they were coming home from the battle, they were met by women, singing praises to David. Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands (I Samuel 18:7).
At this, Saul’s mind became intoxicated with jealousy. He was the king and yet, women celebrated someone above him. He should have been happy for David, but he indulged in his jealousy and it overthrew his mind. In his drunken state, he tried to kill David.
Most of us can identify with this. We may not have tried to kill anyone, but we have all indulged in prideful, jealous, petty, hateful thoughts, which have consumed our minds. Though we should not fill ourselves with such self-centered thinking, we have imbibed and have become intoxicated.
I’m not drunk! This is what most drunks say, and it is what most of us say while under the destructive influence of jealousy and pride. We say and do things that we never would otherwise, and as we sober up, we mourn what we have done.
Emotions are not wrong, but to be completely ruled by them is to be drunk. I must discipline myself to interrogate my emotional responses. Is this constructive? Does this point me at God or self? Will this overthrow my mind? If it is destructive, I must continually choose to abandon it, giving it up to God.
Author’s note: I promised the guys at the county jail that I would give them credit for helping me through this passage yesterday. Thanks Jon, Louis and Peter!