Read – 1 Samuel 19
Focus on verse 11-12
In today’s reading it becomes evident that Saul is no longer trying to hide his intentions to kill David. He is on a mission of destruction. Each time the Lord sees to it that David stays one step ahead of Saul and his deadly plot.
Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. (v. 11-12)
First the Lord uses Jonathan, then He uses Michal, and had the Spirit of God not intervened directly in Naioth – it would seem Saul would have slain David right in front of Samuel or perhaps even Samuel as well in his demonic rage. It was not to be so, however, and in this we once again see the gracious and merciful nature of God in how he deals with Saul. The number of possible ways God could have stopped Saul by ending his life are too numerous to list, yet God does not choose this path. Rather, the Spirit of the Lord comes upon Saul with such intensity that he prophesies, strips off his clothes and lies naked for a day and a night. (had that happened in a more contemporary context some might say he was “slain in the Spirit”) Is it possible that the Lord was trying one more time to reach out to Saul to attempt to convince him to turn from the path he had chosen and to stop fighting – not against David – but against the Lord Himself.
Throughout history there have been occasions when God has chosen to directly intervene in the lives of humans. Not all are as stunningly obvious as it was with Saul, and there have been times when I have wondered why God sometimes chooses to intervene miraculously, while at other times He allows us to suffer the natural course of events. We have all heard testimonies of people who have been miraculously healed, or spared from death or serious injury in situations where there is no other explanation than that God stepped in and disrupted that natural course of nature. There are many other times where He does not — often despite the sincere pleading of His people to do so.
People we could classify as “good people” still suffer and die from disease, famine and sword, not because God is not good, but because the ongoing effects of sin still taint our world. People, like Saul, still choose to take the dark path that leads away from God rather than toward Him. When we choose this path, the consequences of sin come home to roost. By His grace and mercy the Lord at times intervenes and gives us a fresh start, but He is under no obligation to do so at our command. I suspect that the principle reason we find this dilemma difficult to understand is because we fail to accept God’s sovereignty. Think about it… if He is truly sovereign He has every right to do as He pleases, and we have nothing to say about it. What an amazingly awesome event it is then when He allows us to see that He does listen to us, and He does love us, and He does care when we suffer…not because we have found the right combination of rituals to cause Him to act, but simply because He loves us.