As we continue our journey through the story of David, there are many twists and turns. The next segment in the story involves David making his way to the palace of Saul. Perhaps you recall David playing the harp before a tormented King Saul. In this week’s text, we find King Saul in sad shape. We know that he has been rejected by God as King; yet he still rules. We read,
(1 Samuel 16:14 NIV) Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.
This raises questions about God’s Spirit and the role of evil spirits. I will avoid this discussion for the purpose of this blog entry; we will discuss it on Sunday. The bottom line is that Saul is suffering; he is tormented. He needs a cure or at least something to ease the pain.
Saul’s servants somehow know of David’s ability to play music. They bring him in to ease the king’s affliction. We conclude the passage in verse 23.
(1 Samuel 16:23 NIV) Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
We might wonder how David ended up getting the job. Were there no other harp players in the kingdom? It may seem a strange coincidence that future royalty is attending the current king. David’s harp playing is no matter of chance. It is all part of God’s plan. David will one day be king, but for now he is a harpist.
As we explore this passage, we find several lessons for life. First of all, David is not ready to be king. He may have been tempted to question his position as palace musician. Yet he faithfully ministers where God has placed him. God has a plan for David’s music. He will use this chapter in David’s life to prepare him for the future. How much of the Psalms do you think would be vacant if David had not spent this time in the service of King Saul? Secondly, this story relates the incredible power of music. It is worth noting that Lucifer was the chief musician in heaven before his fall. Music has great influence. Worshipful music can usher us into the presence of God; explicit music can aid to glorify and celebrate sin. Either way, music greatly impacts us. David is given the opportunity as a musician to quiet evil spirits. It seems that God used this gift throughout David’s life. Finally, we are pointed to the psalms as a means of soothing our own souls. We have portions of David’s music today. We can tap into the lyrics as we live in relationship with the God of David.
Join us on Sunday as we explore 1 Samuel 16:14-23.