Sam’s 1st Epic 19 – Saul vs David: Is Saul Among the Prophets?

So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1 Samuel 19:23‭-‬24 NIV)

The disturbing mood changes in Saul is in full effect in the 19th chapter of 1 Samuel.

Jonathan, his son, reasons with him at the start. Look at what David has done for Israel, goes the reasoning, he has done so much for us. There’s no need for all the fussing and fighting. Saul listens to this reasoning and makes an oath not to kill David.

Unfortunately, much like another oath he made, it’s not long before Saul back-tracks on it and first he looks to give David the spear again and then David takes the hint and goes on the run with the forces of Saul hot on his trail. What’s outstanding in all this is first of all where David chooses to go. He could have gone back to his father. He chose to go back to the source of his calling – Samuel.

What is then outstanding is what happens to those who pursue David and wind up getting close to Samuel. No overt resistance is given to their efforts. Rather, as they seek to capture David, they find themselves captured by the Spirit of God to prophesy. The protection around David was the word of God. Even to the point that when Saul himself looks to sort out the matter, he too is captured by the Spirit of God to prophesy to such a degree that he strips off and spends the night in that state. This is not the first time Saul has found himself prophesying in the company of prophets, but what a very different situation he is in. Where before he prophesied as a sign affirming his call to rule, now he prophesies in pursuit of the one who is called to rule after him. His efforts to thwart the plan only ends up with him being unable to resist it.

It goes to show the extent to which God protects His Word in the calling he puts on the lives of His people. In as much as there may be opposition, even they must submit to the rule of God.

For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden


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