1 Samuel 16:14-23 (Part 2) – Sometimes You Have To Let Go of What You Hold Most Dear to Keep It!

Posted: February 12, 2018 in Book of 1 Samuel

1 Samuel 16:14-23 (Part 2 of 2)
David Serves in Saul’s Court

Have you ever been obsessed with losing someone whether it be a girlfriend when you are just dating or your wife when your marriage is in trouble. There have been mistakes made in a relationship and you wish that they had not happened but they set your relationship down a road to a breakup. I have a very important couple in my and my wife’s spiritual history whose marriage is on the rocks at the moment.

My friend, the husband, has this brilliant mind. He is incredibly intelligent. His knowledge is almost limitless in sports, in history, in theology, you name it, the dude has a trap for a mind. Any tidbit of knowledge that goes in there stays and is stored there. Yet at the same time, he is a very insecure man and as a result has a very controlling nature. It is difficult for him to admit his mistakes even in the best of times. And because he is so intelligent he can usually craft a logical argument to properly defend his position and crush the position of those who hold different opinions from him. For me, I recognized this about him but I still loved him as my friend and mentor (though he is like 12-13 years younger than me). However, I did not have to live with him. I am sure that living with him like his wife did, it was tough at times, living with a brilliant man but who emotionally and mentally made her feel “less than”. The husband has his demons that have controlled his life as well. He suffers from an addiction to pornography as about 30% or more of men today do. It is so easy to feed such an addiction nowadays with access to the internet. This lust of the flesh also has at its root the satisfaction of controlling women in your mind in ways that you cannot in real life. This addiction continue to feed his controlling nature in their marriage. His inability to give up his addiction and his controlling nature beat down his wife over the years to the point that she sought her affections outside their marriage beginning about 7 years ago or so.

She, his wife, and our friend, has gone off the deep end in her own right. Though she was a great spiritual mentor to my wife when we all lived in the same town in California, she has created this fantasy in her mind how her infidelity and her marriage to my friend are compatible. How it is OK. It is certainly in part a reaction to my friend’s addiction and his controlling nature. She is this brilliantly creative artist that had she not married at age 18 and proceeded to have four children and followed her husband to seminary and into the ministry, she would probably be this avantgarde artist in Manhattan living this bohemian lifestyle and we would know her name internationally as this renowned artist and photographer. So, to me, her current path of this fantasy life that she has created in her mind about the morality of what she is doing is part anger, part mid-life crisis, part trying to recapture missed youth, part reaction to what she thinks her life could have been had she not gone down the path of being a pastor’s wife and of motherhood.

To cap it all off, my friend, the husband, has tried to recapture the fleeing bird in his wife and he professes love to her one moment and then when she doesn’t immediately react with falling back in love with him, he goes to the other extreme of almost hating her. You know what I am talking about. In a marriage that is in trouble, in a marriage where there is infidelity, how it can make a person both love and hate their spouse at the same time. While you think if you do certain things, it will make your spouse love you again but because of the damage already done to the relationship, the spouse does not react with the passionate falling back in love with you that they had when they fell in love with you the first time. Then, the cheated one reacts with anger, insecurity, and tries to control the cheater. And, in the end, all it does is drive the cheater further into the arms of the paramour and further away from their spouse.
As I told this friend yesterday, the word that the Holy Spirit had laid on my heart to give him was that “he has got to be willing to let her go to get her back!” They have begun counseling in the last month but there is seven years of damage to this marriage that has to be unraveled. There is seven years of controlling and brow beating. There is seven years of unfaithfulness as a reaction to it. There is seven years of sin on both sides that has almost destroyed their marriage. This couple is so dear to us that is like watch a train wreck in slow motion before your very eyes and there is not anything you can do about it. I pray that God will heal their marriage. They are such an awesome couple when their marriage is clicking. He is brilliant. She is super, super creative. Together, they make an awesome, awesome couple for Christ.

They are an example of how sin can grab hold of us, even as Christ followers, and get us so far off track that it is difficult to get back to where God wants us. Sin can blind us so badly that it blocks us from the road that God had intended for us. Although I did not list this couple’s names, please pray for them. They are our spiritual parents. The nurtured us to be ready for what we became when we moved back to South Carolina and to LifeSong. Without these two, I do not know where we would be in our walk with Jesus Christ. These guys are that important in our discipleship path. Please pray for them. And please, if you are a married Christian couple, please use their story as a cautionary tale of the fact that just because we are Christ followers, we are not immune to the siren song of sin that can quickly crash our marriage ship on the rocks as anyone. We are not immune. As married couples who are Christ followers, Satan has us as his main targets.

I thought of my friends who we once lived near in California and who now live in Colorado when I read this passage for the second time today of two readings. I read it with a special eye toward Saul’s depression, spiritual oppression, the absence of the Holy Spirit, or whatever it may be rightly called. In this passage, Saul had become so obsessed with maintaining his throne that he went off the deep end. It drove him crazy, the thought of losing his throne, that which was most dear to him. It made me think of my friends in Colorado and in particular the husband. The harder he tries to press and keep his wife in line, the worse things have become. Let’s read the passage now with that idea in mind:

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit[a] that filled him with depression and fear.

15 Some of Saul’s servants said to him, “A tormenting spirit from God is troubling you. 16 Let us find a good musician to play the harp whenever the tormenting spirit troubles you. He will play soothing music, and you will soon be well again.”

17 “All right,” Saul said. “Find me someone who plays well, and bring him here.”

18 One of the servants said to Saul, “One of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a talented harp player. Not only that—he is a brave warrior, a man of war, and has good judgment. He is also a fine-looking young man, and the Lord is with him.”

19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, “Send me your son David, the shepherd.” 20 Jesse responded by sending David to Saul, along with a young goat, a donkey loaded with bread, and a wineskin full of wine.

21 So David went to Saul and began serving him. Saul loved David very much, and David became his armor bearer.

22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse asking, “Please let David remain in my service, for I am very pleased with him.”

23 And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away.

In this passage, we see that Saul was tormented. He was depressed. It all was about to begin to drive him insane with maintaining that which is earthly, his throne. The harder he tried to keep it, the less in tune with God he became. The less in tune with God he became, the further away his throne was becoming. The harder you try to keep something precious to you the more you become obsessed with it. The more you become obsessed with something the less you can see God.

That’s the thing that I told my friend yesterday that the Lord laid on my heart. You’ve got to be willing to let her go to get her back. When he becomes less concerned about what she is doing or not doing and more concerned about his own spiritual, mental and emotional health the better off he is going to be. When he can make his estranged wife less of a god and more of a human, the more he will see God. The more he sees God and has peace with who he is and allows the Holy Spirit to make him see his flaws for what they are and work on them, the more attractive he will become to her. The less he makes her a god who has be on this pedestal, the more he can just love her. The less that he has to control her, the more she will be willing to come back toward him. Sure, she has got to get her head out of her ass about what she is really doing in her infidelity and that it cannot be blamed on her estranged husband, the more that she can see her husband as a lifetime commitment. She is living in a fantasy world right now and the affair is the best of the best. She is not seeing the reality of the relationship and that this guy is no more perfect than any man. She thinks that she is helping this person’s self-esteem and that she is getting the validation that she never got from her husband. But its all story time. You get the best of a person in an affair. You don’t get their things that drive your crazy and angry. There is no perfect relationship. We are all flawed human beings.

But that’s what sin does to us. It makes us obsessed with holding on to something other than God. It makes us believe the lies of Satan about what is against the will and nature of God. Saul could have been a great king with his own lineage but he became so obsessed with his own throne that he believed the lies of Satan about sin. For Saul, maintaining the throne was more important than anything. Sin was OK because it was done to maintain the throne. It was more important than his relationship and his obedience to God. Anything that gets in the way of our relationship with God, anything that is not consistent with the nature of God, anything that goes against his “word of truth”, as James called it, is sin. Let us not fool ourselves into thinking sin is OK. I have a couple that is oh so important to me that is living proof of the devastating effects of listening to the lies of Satan. Please pray for my friends.

Amen and Amen.

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