Saul's Distressing Spirit

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The Biblical God

1 Samuel 16:14–23 NKJV
But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul. So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer. Then Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.
1. Saul’s Loss of Effectiveness. He rejected God. God will not always strive with men, especially when they willfully sin.
2. God is Sovereign over the spirits: (1 Samuel 11:6 “Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused.” )
3. The once savior of Israel, Saul, is now demon possessed and in need of a savior himself. David is now a Christ type to Saul. He is actually seen as a physician, and Jesus is the Great Physician. The people desired not to have Samuel come intercede for him and pray for his repentance that the Holy Spirit would come upon him again. No, they called for music to cheer him up. Matthew Henry says, “Many whose consciences are convinced and startled are for ever ruined by such methods as these, which drown all care of the soul in the delights of sense.” It is surprising that they knew it was a spirit and didn’t call for the diviners and witches, with such a view to have music cheer up the man.
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