Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 19

Saul prophesies

1 Samuel 19:22-24

David had escaped to Naioth, where he was praying with Samuel. When Saulís men failed to arrest David there, Saul himself went.

Saul probably intended to persuade David to return to Gibeah (Saulís town), so that Saul could kill David there. However, even before Saul reached Naioth, something very extraordinary happened to him. It was one of the most astonishing events in Saulís life.

We have, perhaps, thought that, by this time, Saul had become completely wicked. Certainly he was doing some very wicked things. In 1 Samuel chapter 15, he chose on purpose not to obey God. Here in 1 Samuel chapter 19, he was trying to kill David, although he had promised not to do that (19:6). Perhaps we would not expect Godís Holy Spirit to work in the life of such an evil man.

However, God was still working in Saulís life. As Saul approached that place, the Holy Spirit came powerfully upon Saul. Saul even prophesied. That is, he spoke words that came from the Holy Spirit. Probably, those were words to give honour to God, rather than words about the future.

When this happened, Saul took off his royal clothes. Saul could not wear those clothes in front of God; God did not still recognise him as king (15:23; 15:27-28).

It astonished people to hear that Saul was again prophesying. They repeated the same expression that they had used previously (10:11). Nobody expected him to prophesy as a young man. So of course nobody expected him to prophesy again, when he was ruling in such a wicked manner. However, clearly God was still active in his life. Perhaps there was still hope that Saul might yet return to God.

Next part: Saulís secret plan to kill David (1 Samuel 20:1-4)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.