1 Samuel 16:14-23

Screenshot 2015-01-29 21.46.16 (2)


    We ended with the Spirit of the Lord rushing upon David in our last section, and this section begins with the Spirit of the Lord leaving Saul. The Spirit of the Lord is replaced by a harmful spirit from God that torments Saul. His servants find for him David, son of Jesse, who can play the lyre, which brings Saul relief from this harmful spirit. He likes David so much that David becomes Saul’s armor-bearer, and plays the lyre for Saul whenever the spirit afflicts him.


The Spirit of the Lord, Saul, a harmful spirit from God, Saul’s servants, Jesse the Bethlehemite, God

Key Verse

Verse 23 “And 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.”

Cross References

1 Samuel 16:14 “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him.”

1 Samuel 16:16 “Let 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.””

1 Samuel 16:21-22 “And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.””

1 Kings 10:8 “Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!”

1 Samuel 18:10 “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.” (ooooh!! Suspense building for what will come next!)

1 Samuel 19:9 “Then a harmful spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing the lyre.” (Even more suspense!)

2 Kings 3:15 “But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him.”


    I don’t have much to conclude today. Here are 3 Thoughts:

  1. Music is healing.


  2. God is getting in a good laugh at the fact that the chosen king is now learning all about being a king right under Saul’s nose.


  1. There is a lot we have to look forward to as far as other stories involving David, and then in 1 and 2 Kings, there are some great stories. All in all, I am looking forward to the Bible!

Jesus in the Old Testament

“The spirit that at the time of Saul’s anointing changed him “into another man” (10:6, 9-10) and that had intermittently overwhelmed him to propel him into action, is now removed, and Saul is tormented by “a harmful spirit from the Lord” (16:14). To grieve the Spirit of the Lord is to invite calamity (Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30). But even still the Lord extends a measure of kindness to Saul by bringing David into Saul’s court to soothe him with music (1 Sam. 16:23).”*

Isaiah 63:9-10 “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.”

Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

I do have one final thought. As Oscar nominees are being talked about, The Theory of Everything has caught a lot of attention. I haven’t seen it, but I want to take the opportunity to ask that we all take a minute to pray for Steven Hawking, who has really been on the run from God for years. I pray that he will recognize that it is God extending his life, giving him chance after chance to repent and turn to Him.

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 17

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Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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