It is no small thing to have the Spirit of God depart from you as Saul discovered. When the Spirit of God departed from Saul and fell on David, Saul became tormented by evil spirits (1 Samuel 16:13-14). He was no longer under the protection of God. He fell prey to his own designs. His judgement became clouded because he lacked the wisdom of God. As a result, his jealousy of David consumed him. When Saul saw that David was admired more than him for killing Goliath, he “looked at David with suspicion from that day on (1 Samuel 18:9).”
Without the Spirit of God, Saul is vulnerable to evil Spirits. Because of his jealousy, he continually tries to kill David (1 Samuel 18:10-11 & 19:9-10), even scheming to have him fall by the sword of the Phillistines. He schemes to have David provide a dowry of 100 Phillistine foreskins to marry his daughter Michal.
“Saul thought, ‘I will give her to him that she may become a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him (1 Samuel 18:21).’” Saul plans “to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines (18:25).”
What’s interesting about this scheme is that it is similar to what David did after he lays with Bathsheba and she becomes pregnant. After his attempts fail to have Uriah lay with his wife to cover up the fact he is the father of the child (2 Samuel 11:6-13), David plots to have Uriah killed in battle. David wrote a letter to his commander Joab and instructed him to, “Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die (2 Samuel 11:15).” As a result, Uriah is killed and Bathsheba becomes David’s wife.
What differentiates David’s sin from Saul’s sin is that David continually has a heart for God. David continues to obey and seek God. Saul consistently demonstrates a lack of obedience to God’s commands: “Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands (1 Samuel 15:10).” Saul consistently tried to explain away his disobedience which ultimately prompts the prophet Samuel to tell Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king (1 Samuel 15:23).”
Disobeying God can cause harsh consequences for us. God desires what is good for us, but if we fail to follow his ways, we become vulnerable to the evil in this world. The key is not to remain entrenched in our sin and pride as Saul did, which can make us even more vulnerable to evil things. David stands in sharp contrast to Saul. Even though he sinned, his heart for God remained intact. When his sin is pointed out, David repented (2 Samuel 12:13-15). There are still consequences from his sin, but Psalm 51:10-12 records his remorse: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.”
© 2022, Chris G Thelen