Suppose a decide threatens to droop the license of a driver with quite a few offenses. The motive force is then pulled over once more, so his license is suspended. It might be silly to suppose the decide gave the warning merely to lure the motive force into committing one other infraction. The suspension is the results of repeated offenses.
So it’s with God.
God judges sin on this life for the aim of repentance (Ezek. 18:23–32; Heb. 12:10). This judgment isn’t vindictive—he doesn’t do it to entice us to sin extra. He does it as a result of he loves us.
Pondering God as Choose is useful for comprehending the story of Saul and the evil spirit in 1 Samuel 16–19. An instantaneous query arises after studying it: Did God ship an evil spirit to lure Saul into trying to homicide David (1 Sam. 18:10–11; 19:9–10)? Did a vindictive God tempt Saul to sin, or did Israel’s first king select to try homicide?
At first look, it might seem that God arrange Saul for failure by sending the evil spirit. When this passage is learn in gentle of James 1:13, nevertheless, it’s clear that God doesn’t tempt anybody to sin.
So how can 1 Samuel 16–19 be reconciled with James 1:13? Two details emerge from the story of Saul and the evil spirit.
1. God Despatched an Evil Spirit on Saul
The start of Saul’s reign gives the look he was the appropriate selection as king. He confirmed nice promise. He led the army in a number of key victories (1 Sam. 11; 13:1–4; 14:16–23) and exercised knowledge and mercy (1 Sam. 11:12–13).
But two occasions throughout his reign present that each one was not nicely.
First, Saul took it upon himself to supply a burnt providing whereas he and the military waited on Samuel (1 Sam. 13:5–14). The prophet rebuked Saul’s failure to obey God, and insisted the Lord already had chosen one other king after his personal coronary heart.
After which, two chapters later, Saul didn’t obey God’s command to totally wipe out the Amalekites. Once more, Samuel rebuked him for misunderstanding God’s requirement, for being rebellious and insubordinate, for rejecting God’s Phrase. Certain sufficient, the Lord revoked the dominion from Saul (1 Sam. 13:14; 15:23), eliminated his Spirit from Saul (1 Sam. 16:14), and despatched an evil spirit upon him (1 Sam. 16:14). God wasn’t tempting Saul with the evil spirit; he despatched it as an act of judgment in response to Saul’s cussed revolt.
Scripture plainly teaches that God makes use of all the religious world for his functions (Judg. 9:23; 2 Sam. 24:1; 1 Chron. 21:1; Luke 22:31). We will confidently say, then, that God despatched the evil spirit to guage Saul’s persistent disobedience.
However Saul discovered grace and mercy from God’s wrath by means of David’s music (1 Sam. 16:23). God’s kindness to Saul was designed to steer him to repentance (Rom. 2:4), however that raises one other query: If God despatched the evil spirit, how is Saul chargeable for making an attempt to kill David? In any case, nobody can resist God.
2. Saul Is Accountable for His Selections
Saul was not like a rudderless ship being tossed about by the whims of the ocean; he was an lively participant within the occasions of his life. He made two key choices in 1 Samuel 16–19 that present he was chargeable for making an attempt to kill David.
Saul selected to maintain David across the palace to play the harp. Any time the evil spirit terrorized Saul, David performed his harp and refreshed Saul (1 Sam. 16:23). By summoning David to play music, Saul accepted David’s ministry. What’s extra, Saul, the rejected king, accepted the grace and mercy God offered by means of his chosen servant, David.
However Saul selected to be jealous of David’s success and to be suspicious of his intentions (1 Sam. 18:8–9). As a result of God was with David, he succeeded underneath Saul: He grew to become the king’s armor bearer (1 Sam. 16:21), he killed Goliath (1 Sam. 17), and he rose to the rank of platoon chief over the boys of conflict (1 Sam. 18:5).
David’s success and the love the individuals had for him—together with how the ladies sang his praises—didn’t sit nicely with Saul (1 Sam. 18:7–8). He eyed David with suspicion from that day on. Saul selected to harbor jealousy and suspicion, and this led him to plot to homicide David.
Saul threw a spear at David twice, each throughout occasions when the evil spirit was upon him (1 Sam. 18:10; 19:9). David’s music—God’s gracious reward—not refreshed him; he merely gave himself over to his personal evil wishes. The phrases of James 3:16 had been true of Saul: “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.”
How Ought to We Preach It?
Although the fruit of Saul’s life signifies that he was not a believer, his life affords utility for each believers and likewise unbelievers.
In preaching Saul and the evil spirit, pastors ought to remind those that God isn’t vindictive. He doesn’t tempt individuals to sin. James says we’re tempted after we are enticed by our personal evil wishes (James 1:14). God judges everybody in response to his or her actions—not arbitrarily, however for the aim of repentance (Ezek. 18:23, 32; Rom. 2:5–11; Heb. 12:10). He does this as a result of he loves us.
On this fallen world, a decide might problem a ruling too swiftly or harshly, however Choose of heaven is enormously affected person. Saul was judged solely after he’d demonstrated that his coronary heart was unbendingly disobedient. Sure, God’s persistence can expire (Ps. 103:9; 2 Pet. 3:8–10), however even in judgment he extends mercy to believers and unbelievers so they’ll repent (Rom. 2:4). Sadly, although, Saul persevered in unrepentant unbelief and revolt till demise (1 Sam. 31).
Though the believer’s salvation is safe, we aren’t immune from temptation, nor from the results of sin (1 Cor. 3:3; James 4:1). Simply as Saul had recourse towards the evil spirit by means of the anointed David, the believer has recourse towards indwelling sin by means of God’s Phrase and prayer. For the unbeliever, God’s wrath towards unbelief and revolt (Rom. 1:24; 2:8) is glad by means of repentant belief in God’s Anointed, Jesus Christ.
Our God isn’t a vindictive decide who tempts and destroys those that disobey him. He’s simply and merciful, needing that each one ought to repent and stay (1 Tim. 2:4).