14. Now the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and the LORD sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.
1 Samuel 16: 14 NLT
Today’s Passage transitions us from a portion of The Story of Samuel focusing predominantly upon King Saul and his struggles as the inaugural King of Israel to one introducing both a new character and a new conflict.
As a writer, conflict is the all-important ingredient that takes a story from mundane to intriguing, from boring to fascinating, allowing its Lessons to be better absorbed through its enthralling plot. That is what the author introduces in Today’s Passage. I singled out this Passage to make Several Points that represent Today’s Lessons, so let’s get started.
Samuel has recently left Jesse’s house, having secretly coronated his youngest son, David, as the next King of Israel. It was a dangerous undertaking in that King Saul, if he found out, could easily have them all killed. And that was even before Today’s escalation of conflict.
Today’s Passage tells us that God’s Spirit abandoned Saul just like Saul abandoned God’s Commandments, following his flawed lead and piloting Israel into a decisive defeat. But that’s not the worst of it. In the absence of God’s Holy Spirit, Saul’s soul was ripe for entrance, which ushers in Today’s First Lesson.
There are Spiritual Dynamics at play in our lives that we ignore to our decided peril. Matthew 12: 43 -45 gives us a clear and sobering look at that Dynamic. So, after God’s Spirit departs, how much more room might there be to fill a space maintained by an Infinite, Omnipresent Presence?
Saul was ripe for the taking, and what’s worse, God was the deciding factor in Saul’s undoing. The Passage clearly states the spirit that tormented Saul was set upon him by God Himself. Now, as I looked at Today Passage and studied it over the years, I’ve never understood why God would do something like this, but given what we know of Him, let’s venture a guess.
God had just anointed a new King over Israel, His Chosen people, and in that coronation, He Granted David the same Protection, Providence, and Preference Saul had once enjoyed and squandered. But Saul was still King. God needed Saul removed from the equation for David to reign, and He could have done it in any manner He Chose.
We can learn a lot from studying exactly how God Manufactured David’s ascension and Saul’s demise. It was not immediate, nor was it uncomplicated. Sometimes, God’s Plans take a Path we’d never have chosen, But then, we’re not God, are we?
God’s Chosen Method for unseating Saul was internal torment, and ironically, His next move will be even more counterintuitive. We cannot truly know The Mind of God, and Today’s Passage is a glowing illustration of why not. He simply thinks on a Different Level than we do. And if you don’t believe that, follow along with what’s coming, and tell me this is how you’d have chosen to go about it!
Today’s Second Lesson is that God utilizes whatever He deems appropriate to Manufacture His Will, and sometimes that might seem strange or even cruel to us as feeble, short-sighted human beings. But we cannot see the end of a situation the way God does, so we cannot know what the best method of impact should be.
God Chose the evil spirits of Depression and Fear to torment Saul after He Took His Spirit from him to usher in a New Dynamic to Israel’s History. The Story of Samuel is more than just the tale of a Priest and Judge guiding God’s people; it is the Story of God’s Providence and Protection. It is the depiction of how God takes a situation we’ve created and impaired and turns it around for our good.
Today’s Second Lesson is to remain under God’s Grace and give our wills to Him as He Transforms our situations through His Extraordinary Vision and Unprecedented Wisdom. What looks messy and uncoordinated is actually an intricate pattern of cause and effect culminating in God’s Perfect Will, as long as we don’t muck it all up with our meddling.
More often than not, we cannot see it as it is happening. It takes Perspective and Discernment to witness God’s Will in action. But if we take a subjective look through the Eyes of God’s Spirit, we can begin to see the threads woven into a Tapestry of Infinite Beauty.
Even when it seems that God has abandoned us and evil abounds in the forms of Depression or Fear, if we remain in His Will, even those impediments will work out for our good. But if we turn our backs on Him and defy His Plan, we can expect further impediments. God will not stand by and simply watch His Chosen flounder without intervention. But sometimes, that intervention might hurt a bit. Still, it is not to wound us but to make us stronger that He allows us temporary discomfort.
He is Love, after all. And a Loving Father will not let His children suffer for no reason. Are you in God’s Perfect Will, or is your difficult situation there to get your attention? Don’t be like Saul and lose your Anointing because of your willfulness. Acquiesce to His Will and reap His Benefits. Otherwise, like King Saul, you will reap the whirlwind!
Have A Wonderful Wednesday, And Remember, A Loving Father May Have To Apply Pressure To Persuade His Children, But That Is What True Love Looks Like!