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May 1, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: 1 Chronicles 3-5
Audio: 1 Chronicles 3-5

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

1 Samuel 18 (ESV)

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,

“Saul has struck down his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands.”

And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on.

10 The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. 11 And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. 15 And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.

17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me and fight the Lord‘s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 And David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall now be my son-in-law.” 22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?” 24 And the servants of Saul told him, “Thus and so did David speak.” 25 Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired,27 David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife. 28 But when Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29 Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.

30 Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle, and as often as they came out David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.

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Next: 1 Samuel 19

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This Post Has One Comment
  1. The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul (1 Samuel 18:10)

    A Harmful Spirit from God

    This phrase first appeared in 1 Samuel 16:14 – "Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him." This spirit was sent to harass Saul and to also bring David into Saul's life. 

    This reminds me of Exodus 12:23, "For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you."

    In his commentary on 1 Samuel, Richard Phillips writes:

    "In understanding the text, we need not understand the spirit as 'evil,' but rather as 'harmful' (as the English Standard Version renders it). The spirit—presumably an angel—was not himself evil, but rather he was sent by the Lord to bring harm upon King Saul. To some, this may not seem to resolve much of the difficulty, since whether the spirit was himself evil or not, we still have God harming someone, despite the Bible’s teaching that 'God is love' (1 John 4:8).

    "The answer is that this spirit of harm was sent by the Lord as an act of judgment on Saul’s sin. Robert Bergen explains: 'Saul’s tortured state was not an accident of nature, nor was it essentially a medical condition. It was a supernatural assault by a being sent at the Lord’s command, and it was brought on by Saul’s disobedience.' Saul’s repeated rebellion against God’s commands had brought not only his rejection as king but also God’s judgment in the form of this heaven-sent spiritual torment. God is love, and therefore he hates all evil, including Saul’s sins. Saul’s judgment is a warning of the far greater torment that souls in hell will experience as a result of God’s deliberate and, in that case, eternal punishment for sin."

    Phillips, R. D. (2012). 1 Samuel. (P. G. Ryken & R. D. Phillips, Duguid Iain M., Eds.) (1st ed., pp. 270–271). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

    There are New Testament examples of people being turned over to Satan (or demons) for punishment.

    Jesus shows his power over evil spirits multiple times in the New Testament. When Jesus cast our demons, it was always down to affirm His authority. 

    We also know in Acts 5:1-11 that Ananias and Sapphire were filled with the spirit of Satan as a warning (and example) to the early church. 

    In 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, a man guilty of committing sexual sin was handed over to Satan to destroy him. 

    God also allowed a messenger of Satan to torment the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7 so Paul would rely on God's grace and power and to keep him from becoming conceited. 

    Can God allow evil spirits today? Absolutely. But it's important for us to remember they do not act independently from God's sovereign will and purpose. 

    For believers, we must always put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-12 says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak."

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