Interafaith: Comparative religion: world religions

Go Back   Interfaith forums > Religion, Faith, and Theology > Abrahamic Religions > Christianity

Christianity Christian issues and discussions of Christianity.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 11-20-2006, 02:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
Executive Member
 
Dondi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 2,615
Dondi has a spectacular aura aboutDondi has a spectacular aura about
Evil Spirit from the LORD?

How can this be?


"But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." - I Samuel 16:14

"And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him." - I Samuel 16:23

"And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand." - I Samuel 18:10

What kind of spiritual implications does this have? Moreover, what form of prophesying is from an evil spirit?
Dondi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2006, 05:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
Executive Member
 
BlaznFattyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,588
BlaznFattyz is on a distinguished road
Re: Evil Spirit from the LORD?

Count it all joy when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.
BlaznFattyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2006, 06:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
Spiritus ubi vult spirat
 
Thomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 6,791
Thomas is a glorious beacon of lightThomas is a glorious beacon of lightThomas is a glorious beacon of lightThomas is a glorious beacon of lightThomas is a glorious beacon of light
Re: Evil Spirit from the LORD?

In my New Jerusalem Bible Commentary it speaks of this passage being read against a background of the faith.

"But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." - I Samuel 16:14

There are two traditions of David in Scripture (if memeory serves). In one, he pops up, as it were, and beats Goliath. In the other David was already a member of Saul's household. This is from that tradition.

16:15-18
And the servants of Saul said to him: Behold now an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord give orders, and thy servants who are before thee, will seek out a man skilful in playing on the harp, that when the evil spirit from the Lord is upon thee, he may play with his hand, and thou mayst bear it more easily. And Saul said to his servants: Provide me then some man that can play well, and bring him to me. And one of the servants answering, said: Behold I have seen a son of Isai, the Bethlehemite, a skilful player, and one of great strength, and a man fit for war, and prudent in his words, and a comely person: and the Lord is with him."

We can see that the 'evil spirit' is Saul's anxiety, uncertainty, etc (not an evil spirit in the sense of worshipping a false god, or slaughtering babies, etc.,) which God does not calm, therefore must be upon Saul in fulfillment of God's will.

Therefore one might say "The Lord departed from Saul, and left him to his own devices..." but the authors of scripture do not read it that way, but rather that God is working with Saul, even though Saul has already broken his Covenant with God.

The interplay between Saul and David is a very real moment in Jewish history. Saul is a king, annointed by Samuel, but David, also annointed by Samuel, will be king, and in fact Saul is told as much, even before the crown is warm on his head.

The author of the Book of Samuel makes it quite clear that the desire for a king, a demand of the people, was not a providential decision, but one to which God, it appears, assents.

It is, in this sense, an instance in which God would utilise the willfulness of Isreal to being about His plan for their deliverance, despite them-(our)-selves.

David won the confidence of Saul as he won the confidence of the people. For all his faults he is the best of the kings of Israel, and thus becomes the 'type' for the future king foretold. So the authors would discern that God was leading David to Saul, and Saul to David, and also to show that where Saul got into doubt and turmoil, David was serene, or at least calm and composed.

What did Saul prophecy? We do not know, but we can guess it's along the lines of "We're all doomed!" or "This is hopeless!" or "God has abandoned us!" David turns round and quite calmly says, "No. Trust in God and all shall be well." Saul, infuriated, "who the hell d'you think you are, harpist?" throws his javelin at him ... then posts him to a combat unit in the hope he'll get himself killed. Quite the reverse, David is actually quite a good war commander...

... read on, Dondi! It gets positively Jacobean! If Shakespeare never wrote a play based on this, he should have ... Power, politics, greed, sex, corruption, lies, entrapment, murder, war ... it's all there ...

This is a moment from our Salvation History, and its daggers drawn in the corridors of power!

Thomas
Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2006, 07:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
Somewhat returning
 
pattimax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Posts: 1,204
pattimax is on a distinguished road
Re: Evil Spirit from the LORD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
In my New Jerusalem Bible Commentary it speaks of this passage being read against a background of the faith.

We can see that the 'evil spirit' is Saul's anxiety, uncertainty, etc (not an evil spirit in the sense of worshipping a false god, or slaughtering babies, etc.,) which God does not calm, therefore must be upon Saul in fulfillment of God's will.
Thomas
With all due respect, "the evil spirit from the Lord" was a direct result of disobedience. (witchcraft)
pattimax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2006, 07:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
Executive Member
 
Dondi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 2,615
Dondi has a spectacular aura aboutDondi has a spectacular aura about
Re: Evil Spirit from the LORD?

Thanks Thomas.

The interactions between Saul and David is profound. One rises as the other falls. So interesting to see the contrast in reactions in both of them.

As far as the evil spirits, you don't see them as actual "spirits" but just attitudes? You don't think that because the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul that he wasn't afflicted by demonic spirits?

I went back to the earlier book of Judges and found another example of an "evil spirit":

"Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren." - Judges 9:23

You'd have to read the story of how Ablimelech, the son of Gideon(Jerubbaal) and how he slew some 77 brothers of his household in order to gain power as ruler over Shechem. But Gideon's youngest son, Jothem, pronounces a curse to Ablimelech and the men of Shechem where they would destroy each other. Then after three years, God sents an evil spirit to divide Abimelech and the men of Shechem. This doesn't speak of mere attitude or anxiety or uncertainty. God caused something big to happen in the relationship between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. It was an intentional move by God.

What say ye to this?
Dondi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2006, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
Spiritus ubi vult spirat
 
Thomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 6,791
Thomas is a glorious beacon of lightThomas is a glorious beacon of lightThomas is a glorious beacon of lightThomas is a glorious beacon of lightThomas is a glorious beacon of light
Re: Evil Spirit from the LORD?

Hi Pattimax and Dondi:
With all due respect, "the evil spirit from the Lord" was a direct result of disobedience. (witchcraft)

Agreed, that the cause was Saul's disobedience, but I do not believe there is any evil in God, and so He has no evil in Him to send against anyone.

But there is Justice, and if, when God withdraws his spirit, Saul having broken his word, and other spirits move in to fill the vacuum, then so be it that's the 'witchrcraft' sympathetic magic like goes to like you become what you think about ... Saul was the cause of his downfall, not God.

The test then is whether Saul can stand true in faith without the presence of God as a 'comfort', and it would appear that the answer is 'no' he succumbed. I suggest that the first evil spirit was doubt to which the Adversary is highly attuned and at the first sniff every little demon under his command was lined up ready to deploy against Israel.

But I am suggesting that Saul was not possessed in 'Exorcist' terms, nor anything like that ... but I am suggesting, on the other hand, that the Adversary is supremely cunning ...

I approach the question on the basis of whether we are called to a destiny (a vocation), which we can accept or not, or whether we are mere puppets orchestrated by God towards some unseen grand finale of His own design.

Whether God is with us, or whether He simply chooses to use us.

I tend to the former. God calls man always and everywhere. Man is free, always and everywhere, to accept or refuse the call. Moreover, having once accepted is no guarantee of continuance, and having refused once, the call does not cease.

Likewise, without opening a new discussion, any of the apostles were free, at any time, to betray Jesus. Peter did. Thomas did. It's not so much a case of who did, but who, if any, of the twelve, didn't. Why? Because that is what we are like. That is what we do. Was Judas possessed? I don't think so he did what he did of his own volition, but I think he was possessed of the spirit of pride when he assumed that what he was doing was for the best, and then the Adversary convinced him, maybe, that God needed a helping hand to bring about his plan.

Thomas
Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Good and Evil, understanding then choosing Damorith Belief and Spirituality 6 02-18-2005 10:44 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0 ©2008, Crawlability, Inc.