God-given Opportunities

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.

Questions

  1. How are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section?
  2. How do David’s fortunes change?
  3. Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this?
  4. How have your fortunes changed?
  5. What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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16 Responses to God-given Opportunities

  1. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.How are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section?
    – The spirit of the Lord departed and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.
    2.How do David’s fortunes change?
    – From a shepherd to a king’s musician(or armor- bearer)
    3.Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this?
    – God gives those who are able to catch them and ready to be used by Him in order for them in order to show them any situations can be opportunities from God whether they look dangerous or vice versa.
    4.How have your fortunes changed?
    – My whole life.
    5.What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future?
    – myself being used beautifully for the sake of God only in this world.

  2. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. The Spirit of the Lord departs from Saul and is replaced by a spirit that torments him.
    2. He goes from tending sheep to being in the King’s service.
    3. It is all part of God’s plan to place David as king over Israel. This sets up the scene for David rising in the ranks in the chapters following.
    4. Things have happened in my family that I never would have expected to happen.
    5. I hope that God will continue to change me to become more and more like Jesus. I also hope that as these changes come about, He will be glorified in my life.

  3. Grace Yoo says:

    1. The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil Spirit from the Lord tormented Saul.

    2. David went from being a shepherd to one of the king’s armor-bearers.

    3. I think God brought David into this potentially dangerous situation like this because it was God’s plan before David actually became king.

    4. I think my fortunes have changed when things have not gone my way. Although something bad happens to me, God has a greater plan in store and we just have to get through these trials.

    5. I hope that in the future God will change me into a humble and loving servant and to be an imitator of Christ.

  4. Amy Kringle says:

    1. An evil spirit and a spirit of the lord
    2. From a shepherd to a kings servant
    3. Because God knew what the outcome would be.
    4. Having the chance to go to college when my parents couldn’t
    5. To become a stronger, more courageous person for the sake of Christ.

  5. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. An evil spirit (tormentor) and the Spirit of the Lord.
    2. he went from being an ordinary shepherd to an armor-bearer in the palace,
    3. Because He knows that he can save David and that He’s in a complete control of David’s life.
    4. at first, it seemed like i would never go to college. But then the Lord opened doors for me to come to school.
    5. freedom to serve God throughout the whole world.

  6. Jessica Gentry says:

    1.One was the Spirit OF the Lord, then the other one was an evil Spirit FROM the Lord.
    2. David’s fortunes changed as he was once a simple shpherd and then became the lyre player and armor-bearer for King Saul.
    3. God allowed for David to enter this potentially dangerous circumstance becuase He knew the plans He had for him, and He knew that it was all part of the grander scheme to draw David to one day becoming King.
    4. The Lord changed my fortune as He allowed me to get accepted to Moody, and now I am considering a whole different life path then I thought before.
    5. I hope God allows for my heart to change, and to become more self-less and less prideful and distracted.

  7. Cassie Clark says:

    1.The Spirit of the Lord left Saul and was replaced with an evil spirit.
    2.He goes from a nobody to being in the king’s service.
    3.God has planned for David to become the next king.
    4.I have had unexpected experiences in my life that have shaped me.
    5.I hope that some of my sin patterns with be knocked down and replaced with God’s holy patterns.

  8. 1. How are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section? The first one is described as the Spirit OF the Lord, while the second one says a spirit FROM the Lord.
    2. How do David’s fortunes change? David used to be an ordinary shepherd and then he began to play for the king and eventually became one of his armor-bearers.
    3. Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this? God used David’s gifts to bless others and He wasnt going to allow anything bad to happen to David. God knew what He was doing.
    4.How have your fortunes changed? I went from being a “Sunday Christian” to being a follower of Christ and devoting my all to Him.
    5. What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future? I hope that God will help me accept the plans that He has for me. I need to be more humble about certain things and I really hope God can help me with that.

  9. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. How are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section?
    The verse says that the spirit of the Lord departed from Him and an evil spirit tormented him.
    2. How do David’s fortunes change?
    David quickly goes from the shepherd in the farthest fields in his father’s land to the personal musician and armor bearer of the King — a very highly esteemed position.
    3. Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this?
    If Saul finds out that David had already been anointed, then he could easily have him killed. He is already on the lookout for possible competition.
    4. How have your fortunes changed?
    I am now in a position where I could be a program director for a camp i am involved with. Also, I am thinking about earning money for going to Europe. I also got a job this semester in food service. 🙂
    5. What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future?
    I hope that he will continue to grow me. I have seen a lot of areas lately where I need to be growing spiritually and just in general areas of life that I need to work on. I am praying that God would continue to use me in my brokenness but also would heal me to be a new creation for Him.

  10. Lisa Collins says:

    1. How are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section? One is denoted with a capital letter and the other is not. Also one is THE Spirit and the other is A spirit. I think that both the capitalization and the article differences are likely significant.
    2. How do David’s fortunes change? Although David has already been anointed as future king, he has not taken that position yet and is still working in the fields with the sheep. In this passage however, we see him go from working in the fields to being a musician for the king, residing in the king’s courts, and being in close proximity to the king. I’m sure this could give him a new and better perspective on what it was like to be king.
    3. Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this? David had already been anointed as future king. It may be a dangerous situation, but God’s hand was still on him. David could learn about kingship while also seeing how it ought not to be done.
    4. How have your fortunes changed? A lot of complicated family issues have become more prevalent in the last few weeks. These things may possibly change the way I have to do some things and the way I need to go about my schooling etc.
    5. What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future? I hope to see God’s leading in where I should go after I’m done with my time in college. There are so many different possibilities or options, but I’m not sure yet which direction I should pursue.

  11. aaron wright says:

    1. one spirit departed and one tormented.
    2. God’s will was for David to play his music in such a high position
    3. God knew his future plan for David to become king
    4. Daily expectations of what will happen in my day change and they confuse me. But in the end, they always work out for good and for the glory of God
    5. Change my selfish attitude to one that honors Christ even more

  12. Moon Jung Kim[ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.how are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section?the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil[a]spirit from the LORD tormented him.
    2.How do David’s fortunes change? from a shepherd to an armor-bearer
    3.Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this?it might have been one of God’s plans to make David as a king
    4.How have your fortunes changed? my conversion from nonbeliever to believer and follower!
    5.What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future? I hope God will bring me to a mission field and use me to glorify His name.

  13. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) It describes how the Holy Spirit left Saul, and an evil one filled its place.
    2) He was now an attendant to the king of Isreal.
    3) I don’t think we can fully know the answer to that question, but I think primarily to prepare him for future trials.
    4) My family has gone from having a lot to a little in a short amount of time.
    5) I hope that He will show me where he would have me serve Him, and bless me with a godly family.

  14. Kendalle says:

    1. How are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section?

    One Spirit was of God and the Other was From God
    How do David’s fortunes change?
    David was a poor shephard boy and now can was promoted to a much higher position and he was loved my the King instead of a “no body”.
    Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this?
    I don’t know why but God must have put him through things because He wanted to make him stronger.
    How have your fortunes changed?
    When becoming a Christian I had to give up many of my friends and even boyfriend to truly follow Jesus. My life got worst as my relationship with Christ got stronger.
    What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future?
    I desire the LORD of Host to grant me peace for a season. Also, a time that I can sleep without feeling depressed and worthless. To grant me a parnter and honestly some blessings to pay for School.

  15. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. One spirit is the Holy Spirit, and the other one is an evil spirit.
    2. David’s fortune changes because he becomes not only a musician, but also an armor-bearer and Saul likes him a lot.
    3. God brings David into a potentially dangerous situation like this to show David that He is protecting him and watching out for him.
    4. My fortunes have changed many times for the good, even though there were some bad things to get through first.
    5. I hope that God will give me some clarity as to where He wants me to go.

  16. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.How are two spirits contrasted in the opening verses of this section?
    One was from God, and the other was from evil.
    2.How do David’s fortunes change?
    David became a special person who are loved by Saul.
    3.Why does God bring David into a potentially dangerous situation like this?
    God brought David into this situation because it is not the end but one of the steps that he needs to go through to become a king.
    4.How have your fortunes changed?
    I was to be a pharmacist. But God led me to Moody Bible Institute, and make me major in Elementary Education.
    5.What changes do you hope that God will bring in your future?
    I’m willing to do whatever God plans for me to do. I want to be used as a tool God uses for his kingdom.

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