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.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.