Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good Spirits and Evil Spirits Are Not Equal: 1 Samuel 18, 19, 20

Painting Of The King Saul.Image via Wikipedia
When Samuel anointed David to be King of Israel, the Spirit of God came upon David in power and stayed with him his entire life. About that same time, the Spirit of God departed from King Saul and an evil spirit settled upon Saul. (1 Samuel 16: 13 – 23)

Scripture almost casually introduced these two spirits which controlled how David and Saul lived and how their lives affected the history of Israel.  Although these were two spirits they were not by any means equal.  The Spirit of God, which settled in David, is the Spirit of the Living God, who was first introduced in Genesis 1:2. 

God also is One, but has three parts of His being: God, the Father; God, the Son; God, the Spirit.  I can understand God as being similar to a hard boiled egg.  There is a shell, the egg white, and the yolk.  Yet, these three parts constitute one egg.

When God created man in His own image, He made man to have a body, a spirit, and a soul.  So, technically, we can exist simultaneously in three different dimensions: in this physical world; in the spiritual world; yearning for the heavenly.  Yet, each man is only one being.

The Spirit of God left Saul when he publicly showed his absolute disregard for God and for His Word.  Very possibly, Saul didn’t believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Possibly, God was a concept Saul acquiesced to in order to gain acceptance of his people.  Nevertheless, though anointed as King by God’s prophet Samuel, he neither revered God nor considered Him important.

When God left Saul to fend for himself, an evil spirit began to torment him.  The evil spirit or demon was not an equal to God or opposite of God.  Rather, this is a sort of spirit that can exist only where God is not.  Evil is not the opposite of God, but the absence of God’s presence.

When Saul was woefully tormented by his demon, Saul’s attendants suggested that harp music might calm the demon.  So, initially David was brought into King Saul’s presence as a skilled harpist, who was able to assuage the evil spirit by his playing. In fact before the battle with Goliath, David was already serving King Saul as both a harpist and armor bearer.  The evil spirit left when David, filled with the Spirit of God, played the harp.

After David slew Goliath, he became a military leader who met with striking success in all of his battles against Israel’s enemies.  God blessed him so much that soon he was a prominent, well liked public figure. To the degree that the people of Israel loved David, Saul hated David.  Since he was unable to perceive and understand God’s will for Israel, Saul became insanely jealous of David.  Though tormented by the evil spirit, Saul could not identify his hatred toward as stemming from the demon that blinded his eyes to God’s plan for Israel.

In his own wisdom, Saul could not see past his ambition for himself and his family; he wanted to establish a dynasty in Israel.  However, he completely failed to see that God Himself was the only true Sovereign King of Israel.  God gave the land of Canaan to Israel and God promised to protect His people.  Saul failed to recognize that a godly king of Israel could only bless the nation of Israel; he failed to see that a godly king would be a better leader because he sought God’s will before his own.  Saul didn’t understand that God covenanted to give Israel the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession; that God covenanted with Israel, through all generations, to be their God.

Saul attempted to protect Israel, but at best, it was in his own strength and wisdom.  And as such, he could not succeed. 

God required a King who would honor Him; who would have a relationship with Him.

King Saul failed to recognize that David was God’s choice for Israel; that David, anointed in God’s Spirit, would always have the advantage over all enemies of Israel because God would fight with him.

In the relationship between David and Saul, we can see the spiritual battle that is fought continuously for the minds and hearts of men.   Everyone knows, on some level, that there is a spiritual world which parallels our physical world.  These worlds themselves are a neutral medium in which good and evil contend for control.  Evil can attach itself to men with the intent of destroying lives, muting vibrant lives, creating ineffective lives, or just allowing evil hearted men to amplify their own defiance of God in a world that denies God.

I think that it is amazing that David neutralized or calmed Saul’s demons by playing music.  David also wrote many psalms, or songs, which even when recited are often comforting.  I feel that David’s praise songs not only glorified God but also served to ward off demons that he personally saw at work in the lives of people around him.  Maybe one of David’s legacies for us are the psalms, the praise music, which enable us to focus on God’s Sovereignty, on God’s character, on God’s love for us, on God’s justice, on God’s mercy. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

HostGator promo codes