Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul's servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 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.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” One 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.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” And 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. 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.” 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. (1 Samuel 16:14-23)
1. As with Saul, we choose sin. We are slaves to sin, and God gives us up to our sin. His spirit departs from us.
2. God is also sovereign, and all lies beneath his providence. He uses sin sinlessly. He is good and good only, but as evil and sin have been brought into the world, he uses this evil and sin to his purposes. He sometimes allows evil to flourish, because he can see the big picture. Remember, all is for his own glory, and if evil can be used to bring more people into his kingdom, then he will allow evil. If the use of sin will bring another soul into his eternal presence, then so be it. He is not responsible for evil but only good. He can bring about good from evil.
3. God did not make the harmful spirit harmful, but he allowed the harmful spirit to torment Saul. He withholds his grace in order to let wickedness increase. Just so, God did not create sin, but he allows sin to torment us. He withholds his grace in order to let sin increase. In this way, God can display his glory by rescuing us from sin.
4. The servants are like the prophets, seeking out the one with the lyre who can rescue us from evil. The servants find David. The prophets "find" Christ. David is Christ, from Bethlehem, and he is all the things to Saul that he is to us, when we are battling sin. He 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. He is our good shepherd. We know later on that David has struck down both lions and bears. Contrary, as the good shepherd, Christ lay down his life for his sheep.
5. Jesse, the Father, brought along with David bread and wine and a young goat. To break this down: the body, the blood, and the sacrifice of Christ.
6. David became Saul's armor bearer. Indeed, Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6:11 to put on the full armor of God, which is Christ, so that we would be able to stand against the schemes of the devil, the evil spirit that torments us, that God allows to harangue us, so that we may hide ourselves in Christ for protection, hide under his wing as he battles for us.
7. Whenever the harmful spirit tries to take hold, only those in Christ can resist. Just as David's playing of the lyre would drive the spirit away from Saul, so Christ's music, the song that he created for us, drives sin away from us. We still sin, but whenever we do, we are to seek Jesus and his righteousness. He lay down his life for us sinners, so that we could die with him and rise again and lead a new life.
Again, the Life of David perfectly forms an image of Christ for us.