Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

King Saul – a Classic Toxic Person

As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on.
(1Sa 18:6-9)

Wicked people, RASNs (revilers, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists) are all about themselves. The world revolves around them. They have an astonishing mindset of superiority and entitlement. Make one of them a king, like Saul, and you have a powerful formula for evil.

David had accomplished a great victory for Israel. Goliath was dead and the murderous enemy was defeated. The whole nation was rejoicing – except Saul. And Saul eyed David from that day on.

If you have had the unpleasant experience of a relationship with a RASN, then it is quite probably that you have seen this very thing. One day it seemed that all was well, then next moment as if a switch had been thrown, you realized that things had changed, and not for the better. Why? How can this be explained?

RASNs are extremely jealous people. It makes them fools. Saul should have been celebrating David’s victory as a victory for Israel and for Saul as well. After all, Saul was king and his loyal servant had routed his enemies. But Saul, consumed with jealousy, seethed in his anger that the spotlight was now upon David rather than himself. In addition, Saul must have sensed that the Lord was with David in a way that His blessing was not upon Saul.

And this is how it works with the RASN. When, for example, the wife of a domestic abuser, enjoys some success in her work or at her church or in the eyes of her family, the fires of jealousy begin to rage. And Saul eyed David from that day on. The evil eye watching, bent on destroying his target’s success. No matter that the success of the abuser’s wife is actually a success for and a blessing upon him. Nope. Competition for glory will not be tolerated and he sets out to sabotage. Many abuse victims will tell us how their abuser worked to cause them trouble at work or to destroy relationships.

Abusers are fools. They saw off the branch they themselves are sitting upon.

[There will be a part 2 to this post next week discussing how the Lord sent an evil spirit upon Saul so that his ravings against David increased. IMO this same dynamic very often is at work in domestic abusers and other RASNs we deal with]


Does Time Heal all Wrongs?


God Hands the Abuser Over to Evil – And it is Right to Escape


  1. A Child of God

    Thank you for this timely reminder, that the LORD had been showing me for a long time. God’s blessing on my life became an enraging and alienating thing to him. Even while separated he cannot see even part of the blessings that we have received because it will enrage him. God has shown us that, like David, sometimes we have to flee before we are destroyed and reconciliation is not always a given.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yes indeed! They become enraged as the Lord hands them over to evil. We will see this in the next post on Saul and his hatred of David (a murderous hatred)


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