Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16

Saulís evil spirit

1 Samuel 16:14

When Saul became king, Godís Holy Spirit came upon him (10:10). The Holy Spirit brought about a powerful change in Saulís life (10:6). After that, the Holy Spirit again came powerfully upon Saul in 1 Samuel 11:6.

However, the Holy Spirit was not just present in Saulís life on those occasions. The Holy Spirit continued to be active in his life until the day when the Holy Spirit left him.

That happened because of Saulís decision that he would not obey God (15:26). He made that decision on purpose, and it was a very serious matter. In Psalm 51:11, David would later pray that God would never take the Holy Spirit away from him.

After the Holy Spirit had left Saul, the Holy Spirit came upon David (16:13). From that day, the Holy Spirit was very active in Davidís life. It was the Holy Spirit that gave David the power to do his special work for God.

While the Holy Spirit remained with Saul, God was protecting him. When the Holy Spirit left Saul, an evil spirit attacked him. That evil spirit upset Saul. It urged him to act in a cruel and evil manner (18:10-11; 19:9-10).

The Bible describes that evil spirit as Ďan evil spirit from Godí. God is not evil, and evil spirits do not work on his behalf (James 1:13; James 1:17). Evil spirits oppose God, and they are constantly trying to destroy his work (1 Peter 5:8). However, there are certain situations where God may allow an evil spirit to act against someone. In Job chapters 1 and 2, Godís purpose was to prove that Jobís trust in God was genuine. In 1 Kings 22:19-22, Godís purpose was to punish the wicked King Ahab with his death. In 1 Samuel 16:14, the purpose was to give King Saul another opportunity to serve God. Sometimes a personís troubles can cause him to return to God, as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 5:5.

Next part: Davidís harp (1 Samuel 16:15-18)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.