In 1 Samuel 16 Saul has an ‘evil spirit from God’. This phrase has caused interpreters a lot of problems, but it just acknowledges that all things, whether good or bad, find their origins in God. Saul has chosen to distance himself from God the king-maker and so God orchestrates the next phase in the plan. The evil spirit is soothed by music (this shows it is probably an emotional moodiness from God, not necessarily a demon). David plays the harp and so David, who has been anointed king, has an opportunity to move from shepherd to king’s musician.
If we are faithful to God he will move the pieces in our lives to bring about the kind of spiritual growth that he requires. We must have ‘luck’ which Bob Kraft once explained to me is a combination of readiness with opportunity. Are you keeping yourself ready for the opportunities God will bring your way?
1 Samuel 16: 14-23
14 Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil[a]spirit from the LORD tormented him.
15 Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”
17So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”
18One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him.”
19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.
21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. 22Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”
23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
- How are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section?
- How do David’s fortunes change?
- Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this?
- How have your fortunes changed?
- What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future?