First Samuel 19 Commentary.
One cannot achieve godliness by resolutions. The oath that King Saul made amounted to nothing. Salvation doesn’t come by New Year resolutions. As Jeremiah puts it, people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Either the LORD or the evil one directs a man’s life. There is no land in between. Saul may even be very genuine about his oath but he is not in charge. He cannot rule. The Adamic sin means man is no longer the ruler of himself. Saul exemplifies this very unfortunate situation perfectly.
Both Jonathan and Michal, Saul’s children, love David and consequently save him at different times. The great prophet Samuel shelters David but not even this spiritual refuge can deter Saul’s madness. He pursues David until the LORD prevails over his madness and he temporarily joins the prophesying believers.
All is well until David succeeds. This is instructive. This isn’t just mere jealousy. We get the picture of what the saint goes through as they surrender to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Many times these spiritual battles become physical. You actually wonder why you are sidelined or even hated at your place of work. The evil one possesses individuals and controls them like robots to cause pain and suffering in the lives of God’s people. On the other hand, the possession by the Spirit of God leads to humility.
In the process of pursuing David, Saul finds himself face-to-face with the presence of the LORD in the company of prophets led by an aged Samuel. Here he lies naked, without his kingly vestments. He is not standing anymore. He lies prostrate before the presence of the LORD. We are reminded of the text that, “at the mention of the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, those on earth and those under the earth and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father”
Saul’s knee not only bows but is ‘cut’ completely as he is left lying ‘naked all that day and all that night’. How you wish this was graceful possession by the man who once carried with him the anointing of the LORD! Will this moment stick forever? As we shall find out tomorrow, it didn’t. We can learn here that sensual experiences such as this one here for Saul cannot warrant godliness in a soul that is determined to sin. Emotional experiences at the place of worship are not the main thing for a decent Christian walk.
The man we are reading about here once had it: anointing, experience, and miracles. The LORD moved powerfully in his life. He prophesied. But that is it. It is all gone and cannot help him now. Now he is so possessed by the evil one that we hardly can tell the difference between Saul and the demon. Simple faith. Trust and obey. This is real godliness.
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