A Harmful Spirit from the Lord


David killed Goliath and the Israeli troops chase after the Philistines. David, however, takes Goliath’s head to Saul. Saul is introduced to David officially.

Now we’ll jump back a bit to the end of 1 Samuel 16, the previous chapter. Some believe this happens in here somewhere, after Goliath.

It’s when it says that the Lord has left Saul and an evil Spirit from the Lord comes upon him.

His men recognize it as “a harmful spirit from God” and recommend having someone play music for him. David is recommended and sent for.

David’s playing works and Saul asks that David remain in his service. He not only will play the lyre, but he becomes Saul’s armor-bearer and goes out to battle with Saul.

Now that we’ve gone through the story, let’s go back to this thing about a harmful Spirit from God.

If you’ve been following the lessons, I teach a whole lot about the goodness of God, how He works for our good, that His purposes are not to harm us, so how could a harmful spirit come from God?

Let’s quickly look at a couple of the instances in the Bible where we get to see behind the scenes. In Job we see God giving permission to Satan to do as he wished to Job within the boundaries set by God. God was showing Job off, but also using it for Job’s good and His own glory.

In 1 Kings we have the story of God sending a lying spirit to entice Ahab into war. Ahab didn’t want to listen to God’s warnings through his prophets. He wanted to listen to the lying spirit in the false prophets that told him he would be successful. God did not trick him. He showed Ahab his heart.

What was the point of the spirit troubling Saul? It was a reminder that God was not with him. David’s music brought God’s presence back and peace with it.

Instead of humbling himself before God and relinquishing the throne to David and acknowledging his sin and how God was right to remove the kingdom, he fights against God’s will for the rest of his life. What we know of God is that He allows people to humble themselves and change their destiny (consider Ninevah). He gives us choices.

The spirit God allowed to torment Saul was only intended for good. Saul could have repented. Instead, he fights God.