Wednesday, September 09, 2020

2020.09.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 16:14–23

 Read 1 Samuel 16:14–23

Questions from the Scripture text: Who departed from Saul in 1 Samuel 16:14? What troubled him? Who sent the distressing spirit? Who spoke to Saul in 1 Samuel 16:15? What do they say? What do they want Saul to do to them (1 Samuel 16:16)? What kind of man do they want to find? What result do they think this will have? What does Saul do in 1 Samuel 16:17? Whom does one of the servants mention in 1 Samuel 16:18? What six qualities does he mention? Which of these does he state last? Whom does Saul send to whom in 1 Samuel 16:19? What does he tell them to say? What does Jesse send, by whose hand, in 1 Samuel 16:20? What does David do in 1 Samuel 16:21? How does Saul initially respond to David? What does David become? What request does Saul send to Jesse in 1 Samuel 16:22? What reasoning does he give? What does 1 Samuel 16:23 tell us that David would do, on what occasions? What would happen to Saul? What would depart from him?

“Yahweh is with him.” Isn’t that the most important of David’s qualifications in 1 Samuel 16:18?

The passage sets us up to see this by emphasizing in 1 Samuel 16:14 how the Spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul. But, in the Lord’s providence, an evil spirit comes upon Saul (verse 14, 1 Samuel 16:151 Samuel 16:23). 

1 Samuel 16:7 is still driving what we are to “see” in this passage. The Hebrew word for the “evil” of the spirit sounds exactly (though spelled differently) like the word “see” (translated “provide”) in 1 Samuel 16:17. There is an intense focus upon “seeing” a man whose heart has Yahweh with him instead of evil.

And this is what all of us children of Adam need. To have Yahweh with our hearts by His Spirit. But how can we? The spirit that we have received, in our first father and because of him, is an evil spirit.

But David, the man/king after God’s own heart, is able here successfully to drive away and reverse the effects of the evil spirit afflicting Saul, the man/king whose heart was not after the Lord’s (1 Samuel 16:161 Samuel 16:23).

The irony is that Saul does not know what has happened in the first half of the chapter, that the man that he exactly needs in order to have the Spirit of Yahweh drive away his evil spirit is the man that is replacing him as king. Though Saul “loves him greatly” (1 Samuel 16:21) and looks upon him with favor (1 Samuel 16:22) now, that will all change, when he learns that David must be king.

There is an important parallel here for us with the ultimate David, King Jesus. There are many who want various things that Jesus can indeed give. Christ is the perfection of all of the good qualities named in 1 Samuel 16:18: knowledge, strength, victory, counsel, and beauty. And He is the ultimate “God with us” (“Immanuel”). And there are many who love the idea, and the superficial enjoyment, of many of these benefits of Jesus.

Such people sometimes think that they love Him, but when challenged with the idea that Jesus must be King, they recoil, and all is lost for them. There is nothing that we need more from Jesus than for Him to be our “last Adam,” Who gives us a new spirit, Who indwells us with His Holy Spirit, Who delivers us from all our enemies, and in Whom God is perfectly and blessedly with us.

As we read this passage, we can feel the tension of how Saul will ultimately end up rejecting and hating and opposing David. But the passage is also a mirror for us, if we can see the perfect Christ in the foreshadowing of David: are we willing to have Him as King? Or are we just interested in a collection of benefits that we hope to gain from Him?

What benefits do you need from Christ? In what do you most need to submit to Him as King?

Suggested songs: ARP45A “My Heart Is Greatly Stirred” or TPH45A “My HeartIs Greatly Stirred”

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