TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19
SCRIPTURE:1 SAMUEL 19
BY: Josh Boles
As I read through today's chapter I couldn't help but think to myself, “Man, chapter 18 and 19 would make for a really good soap opera.” If any of you are talented at writing, because I am clearly not, let’s team up and we could make a killing off of this thing. We could call it “All My Children (Hate Me).” It really is one of those stories in the Bible you can get lost it. It has adventure, betrayal, and multiple plot twists. The best part about these stories in the Bible however, is that they can always give us relevant truths to live by. Remember, all scripture is useful.
As chapter 19 opens up, Saul is again plotting to kill David. In verse one we see some really important words in this chapter, “but Jonathan.” Jonathan, who is Saul's eldest son, and heir to the throne betrayed his father and gives David inside information. Later in the same paragraph we see Jonathan reason with his father. In verse 6 we read that Saul listened to Jonathan.
These verses tell us a lot about the character of Jonathan. One, was that he is a good, and loyal friend. Everybody needs a good friend, and if there is anything we learn in the Bible about the life of Jonathan it’s that he is indeed a good friend. In these verses I think we learn the reason behind his friendship. Jonathan is a peace keeper. He is also wise. How else would he be able to talk an angry, jealous king off the ledge that Saul was on. We can learn a lot from Jonathan here. He stood on David’s behalf, even if it meant his own life, or the throne he was entitled to. I am thankful that we have somebody standing on our behalf. We have a friend in Jesus who looks after our best interest always.
In verse 9 we read that a harmful spirit from the Lord came over Saul again. This is right after Saul has agreed not to kill David. At first glance this could seem a little troubling. That is why I thought it important to pause and discuss this a bit. If we don't investigate this further it might become easy to think that God is just out to torment Saul for no apparent reason. Before we go any further, lets take a look back to 16:14.
We have to remember that in 16:14 the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul. This happens right after David was anointed as kind and the spirit of the Lord came upon David. Saul is losing his empowerment from God as king. This is not however, because God is unfair. It is because Saul turned against the Lord, and made all his decisions apart from the Lord. From this point on Saul would continually make futile attempts to govern without the Lord. Consequently, this harmful spirit from the Lord acts as a form of judgement on his sins of turning against the Lord. What should we learn from this? We should never act in any way that is contrary to the spirit. Thankfully, we have Jesus acting on our behalf so even when we mess up, we have a graceful king standing in the way of the harm that we deserve. This is kind of what Jonathan is doing for David.
As we get to the conclusion of this chapter we read that not only does Saul’s son betray him, but so does his daughter. Michal helps David escape, and Saul goes after him again. It is in the last section that we see something very interesting happen. As you read verses 18-24 pay close attention to verse 23. The spirit of God came upon Saul and he too prophesied.
This was not Saul returning to the Lord. This was the will of God removing Saul’s self control and turning his stubborn heart to the Lord so that the Lord's will can be done. God is sovereign over the universe. There is not a hair that falls off our head that does not fit within His divine, sovereign will. Some might disagree with what I will say next, but God also gives us free will. I don't understand it, but I have to come to grips with the fact that the complete sovereignty of God can, and does co-exist with the free will of man. We see this come to fruition in this chapter. Ultimately, the will of the Lord will be done. Saul chose to stand in the way of that, and it will cost him his life.
Even if it is something small in your life, do not position your choices against the will of God. How do we know what the will of the Lord is? Through prayer and supplication. Take a look at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” This is how we live in the will of God. Never do anything apart from prayer. Do we have freedom? Yes, but we must continually seek the Lord in every choice we make.