The Spirit of the Lord in the Old Testament

1 Sam 16:13-14 The Spirit of the Lord CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

In the Old Testament the Spirit of the Lord was very active in men’s lives.

  • He was involved in creation Gen 1:2
  • He was involved in striving with men Gen 6:3 similar to the way that he reproves them today
  • He was involved in Joseph’s life Gen 41:38 giving him understanding and wisdom
  • He was involved in Bezaleel’s life Ex 31:3; 35:31 giving him wisdom, understanding and knowledge
  • He was involved in Moses’ life and in the lives of the 70 elders of Israel Num 11:17-29
  • He was involved in Balaam’s life Num 24:2 turning the curse into a blessing
  • He was involved in Joshua’s life Num 27:18; Deut 34:9 as he was in Moses’
  • He was involved in Othniel’s life Jud 3:9-10 giving him victory over Chushanrishathaim
  • He was involved in Gideon’s life Jud 6:34 giving him victory over the Midianites
  • He was involved in Jephthah’s life Jud 11:29 giving him victory over the Ammonites
  • He was involved in Samson’s life Jud 13:25, 14:6,14:19, 15:14 giving him strength
  • He was involved in Saul’s life 1 Sam 10:6,10:10, 11:6;19:20-23
  • He was involved in David’s life 1 Sam 16:13, 2 Sam 23:2, Ps 51:11
  • He was involved in Azariah’s life 2 Chr 15:1 to prophesy
  • He was involved in Jahaziel’s life 2 Chr 20:14 to prophesy
  • He was involved in Zechariah’s life 2 Chr 24:20 to prophesy
  • He was involved in the lives of the prophets Neh 9:30 to testify against Israel, etc

When David was anointed to be the successor king to Saul, the Spirit of God came on him and remained.  Even in the affair with Bathsheba, the Spirit did not leave him [Ps 51:10-11] though David was concerned that he might.  But here the Spirit left Saul.  You don’t find that said about other men in the Old Testament.  Nevertheless, you do see the consequences clearly stated in 1 Sam 18:12 and 28:15 where it is evident that the Lord had departed from Saul.

Even more troubling to Saul is that an evil spirit from the Lord came on him in v.14.  And this spirit was so evident that even Saul’s servants knew when it was troubling him [1 Sam 16:15].  The right kind of spiritual music would cause that spirit to leave Saul alone [1 Sam 16:23].  What a commentary on the benefit of the right kind of music.  In 1 Sam 18:10, we see that this evil spirit caused Saul to prophesy; so prophesy is no indication that a man is filled with the Holy Spirit.  And in 1 Sam 19:9-10 this spirit caused him to want to kill the successor king.  Note that these problems are significant even today.

As we get closer to the Lord’s return and see more and more evidence of apostasy in the church, you are seeing the influences of this kind of evil spirit on churches manifested in a change in the music, an overwhelming interest in prophesy and a disdain for God’s words and true Bible-believing Christianity.  The root of this is in rebellion and idolatry [1 Sam 15:22-23] just like it was for Saul.