The Spirit, Descending and Departing
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The Spirit, Descending and Departing

1 Samuel 16:13-23  (ID: 3393)

God chooses to use unlikely people for unlikely tasks in unlikely places. To serve the Lord, we’re not expected simply to muster up adequate inner strength. Rather, God Himself enables us through His Spirit. We see this illustrated in 1 Samuel when the Holy Spirit descended upon David and departed from Saul, radically altering both lives. To do God’s work, cautions Alistair Begg, we need the Spirit’s empowering. His presence is crucial, even as His absence is dreadful.


13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

David in Saul's Service

14Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15And Saul's servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.” 17So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” 18One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.” 19Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” 20And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 22And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.