November 14, 2021
Scripture: And he went there to Naioth in Ramah. And the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 1 Samuel 19:23-24 ESV
Observation: You have to love the honesty of Scripture—heartbreaking, horrifying, encouraging, perplexing, and sometimes absolutely hilarious. In this chapter, we read of Saul foolishly seeking David’s life. It is a pitiful account of an old, fearful ruler who is on the verge of committing a heinous sin. Thankfully, with Jonathan and Michal’s interventions, David escapes for his life and seeks the companionship and security of the Lord’s high priest, Samuel.
When Saul learns of David’s location, he sends three regiments (messengers) to apprehend David. Each time, Samuel stands in the breach with his entourage of prophets who proclaim the Lord’s message. The Spirit of God then overwhelms Saul’s messengers, and they join the holy men and prophesy as well. Frustrated, Saul, obsessed with killing David, heads to Naioth to seek David’s life, only to encounter the same outcome. The author then adds details: Saul and his messengers were stark naked when they prophesied, and it lasted all day and night. Proud Saul made a fool of himself for the Lord’s glory.
Takeaway: Time and again, God demonstrates his sovereign protection over his chosen replacement for Saul. David’s part? Listen to those who warn him and seek refuge. Don’t take matters into your own hands. Resist meeting force with force. Instead, follow the lead of those who God raises to help you and run. For it is a victory to know when to retreat. And in due time, the Lord will “expose” the foolhardy machination of your enemies.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that we need not fear our enemies, whether human or demonic. For you will intervene and protect us as long as you intend for our lives here on earth. And thank you for your Spirit who speaks your truth through us and others. So please help us be courageous and confident of your provision, protection, and guidance—and know when to retreat. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling