Evil Spirit from God

God’s Spirit had left Saul and he was no longer walking with the Lord. Even though he was the king over Israel, the fact that he wouldn’t serve God and obey him led God to reject Saul as king. Now, David would be raised up to be king after having been identified an annointed by Samuel.

But there was something more that I was reading today. The word says that an evil spirit came from God to torment Saul. Here is the full couple of paragraphs and context:

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom? ” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

1 Samuel 18:8-11

What is this saying? If God is a good God, how can he send an evil spirit? How is this possible?

It is important to remember that God is the creator over all things and can use all things, both good and evil, for his ends. Let’s remember back to Job’s situation. It was Satan that had come to God, asking that God to take everything from Job. God didn’t allow Satan to destroy him, but he did allow him to take away everything to test him.

Could it be similar in this situation with Saul? Saul was the king of Israel. He was the king of God’s people. Surely he would be a highly valued target for Satan, wouldn’t he? If so, then we can imagine a similar request from Satan to God, possibly to even allow him to destroy Saul similar to how Satan had taken everything from Job.

In this situation with Saul, though, we see that the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, so he was easily taken by the evil spirit and he was not only angry, but it urged on his jealousy of David. The fact that the evil spirit had come on Saul was what brought David into the palace in the first place, so that David could play the lyre and soothe Saul. So God had used the presence of the evil spirit to bring David into the palace as royalty.

Yet possibly the evil spirit saw its opportunity to also take out the both Saul as well as the next king of Israel, the next leader of the people of God. When the evil spirit came upon Saul, he would try to kill David. Can we imagine that this was in the mind and was the intent of the evil spirit? Definitely!

Throughout the Bible, we see God use evil for his purposes. God isn’t evil, but he allows it and uses it. Even in the New Testament, Jesus drove out demons from the demoniac to show his power over evil spirits. Or God allowed the spirit of Satan to come into Ananias and Sapphira to bring a great fear upon the first church in Jerusalem for the power of the Lord and his people in that first church. Or even as Paul told the church in Corinth to turn the man stuck in incestuous sin to be turned over to Satan to be brought to repentance. God allows and uses evil, turning the circumstances for our good and for his glory.

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