It’s strange times in the land o’ plenty. Tormenting spirits, prophesying and kings lying naked in the street! Oh my! The one thing that caught my eye in this chapter is that not just one of Saul’s children is protecting David, but two of them are defying their father’s wishes and making sure the future king of Israel is safe and sound. Remember, David’s wife, Michal, is Saul’s second oldest daughter, and Jonathan is his son.
As I was reading today, thinking about the tormenting spirit and not having any more answers about why God would send this spirit upon anyone, I sort of imagined Saul as an “addict.” I’ll try to explain. Have you ever wanted something really, really, really badly even though you knew it wasn’t good for you? Sometimes we can’t explain why we want things – why our bodies CRAVE things. Many times we develop a craving by first having just a “taste.” It’s like smoking cigarettes, addictive drugs, bad habits that bring up momentary pleasure but long-term grief and struggle. Every time I read about Saul and his wishy-washy pursuit of David, which seems to wane and rise at every turn of the head, I feel like the tormenting spirit with which he is dealing is much like that of an addiction. I smoked for years, and even though I quit many years ago, I still crave that occasional hit of nicotine. I know it’s horrible for me, but yet, once in a while, I still take a drag. I’m still perfectly aware, however, that if I’d just wait out the craving, it would go away, a little like what Saul is experiencing with his urge to murder David. I don’t know if I did that explanation much justice, but it’s how I can sort of unpack what Saul is going through and why God allows spirits to torment us. Like we’ve discussed before, maybe it’s God’s way of seeing – “testing,” if you will – just how much we trust Him. I fail daily, and for this reason, I’m thankful for stories like Saul’s and eternally grateful for Jesus.
Writing prompt: falling short
We all fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 says so. Write about some ways you fall short today. Talk about your desires, cravings and addictions, no matter what they are, and pray that God will fill you with His Spirit, who can chase away tormenting spirits when we invite Him to.