What happens when the tie that binds comes untied? While God knit David and Jonathan together in 1 Samuel 18, in that same chapter, Saul unraveled. Perfect stitches pulled by an unseen hand. In 1 Samuel 15, God removed His Spirit due to Saul’s repeated disobedience. If the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, the absence of the Spirit in Saul produced:

  • Anger and jealousy: “Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. ‘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 jealous eye on David.” (1 Samuel 18:8-9 NIV) Have you been here? The tapes won’t stop playing. Anger, jealousy, and envy ooze from every pore.
  • Murder and madness: “The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying (The NASB says raving.) 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 18:10-11) Have you created your own tape? Crafted the perfect comeback—or worse, revenge?
  • Fear: “Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul . . . When Saul saw how successful he [David] was, he was afraid of him.” (1 Samuel 18:12, 15) Fear grips relentlessly, choking, paralyzing, numbing you to reason.

Take a look at the threads of Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Do you see Saul in the tangled mess?

But I believe something besides the flesh was at work. Demonic fingers pulling the yarn? Jesus through Luke gives a hint of what may have occurred, “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26) I don’t believe Saul was oppressed before the kingship, but Scripture speaks clearly of demons and their impact on the rejected king.

God promises never to remove His Spirit (John 14:15-17), yet we often turn from Him. And when we do, we open ourselves to the influence of the enemy, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Stay tight with the Spirit and you won’t unravel.

Workout of the Week: Unraveled

Memory Verse:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22

Meditation Passage: 1 Samuel 18

Just Do It: Stay tight with the Spirit and you won’t unravel.

David and Goliath: Spiritual 20/20

Spiritual 20/20

Eye exams. They’re getting harder. It’s not like anyone’s changed the questions, but every year, the letters shrink. I look through the lenses. Which is better? One? Or two? With each click, my vision moves from blurry to clear. Fuzzy to focused.

In 1 Samuel 17, the story of David and Goliath, God’s conducting a spiritual eye exam. Two armies face off in a valley to witness a battle to the death. Winner take all.

Israel has to be thrilled at the thought of single combat. It wasn’t that long ago when the king and his son carried the only weapons—in the entire army. Single combat? Awesome! No full-scale bloody battle today. Whew!

Until the Philistines send out their champion.

And he’s nine feet tall.

Collective groan from the Israelites. Seriously? Where do they find these guys, and what are they feeding them?

And the eye exam begins.

King Saul and the Israelite army see:

  • An army that has plagued Israel since Samson’s time
  • 125 lbs. of armor
  • A big bully talking trash on the battlefield

So, they stall.

For forty days.

Young David comes on the scene. An errand boy sent by his dad to check up on his big brothers and to bring them some food. It’s David’s turn and, click, click, his vision sees way beyond 20/20.

David sees a guy.

A guy whose nation has harmed Israel.

David’s people.

God’s people.

And this guy has nothing on God.

Note the difference. The others compared Goliath to themselves and their own abilities. David compares Goliath to God—and it’s no contest.

So, he suits up. Sling, staff, stones. Check.

Now Goliath takes a turn in the chair. He’s not seeing too well either. He sees a kid.

David adjusts Goliath’s lenses in verses 45-47:

“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.’”

Goliath’s vision fades to black. Permanently.

Why could David see what others could not? The Holy Spirit.

J. Oswald Sanders said, “Eyes that look are common; eyes that see are rare.”

Eyes that see have been touched by the Holy Spirit. Click, click, and you see things you didn’t see a moment ago.

Instead of seeing a hostile co-worker, you’ll see someone who is hurting and needs a friend.

Instead of seeing that annoying relative, you’ll see someone you can encourage.

Instead of seeing a bad day, you’ll see an opportunity to draw near to God.

Make an appointment for a spiritual eye exam and learn to truly see.


When have you looked at a situation?

When have you seen a situation?

What made the difference?

Are you consistently praying for God’s perspective on:

Your work?

Your marriage?

Your family?

Your relationships?


The others compared Goliath to themselves and their own abilities. Click to tweet.

David compares Goliath to God—and it’s no contest. Click to tweet.

J. Oswald Sanders said, “Eyes that look are common; eyes that see are rare.” Click to tweet.

Eyes that see have been touched by the Holy Spirit. Click to tweet.