In a nutshell…

…a request to appoint a King, was made by the Elders of Israel to Samuel, the nation‘s last Judge and Prophet (1 Samuel 8:5). Despite Samuel‘s protests (1 Samuel 8:10-18), Saul from the tribe of Benjamin, was the people‘s choice to be Israel‘s first king (1 Samuel 11:15). At the start of his reign he was brave, generous and modest. God‘s Spirit rushed mightily upon him (1 Samuel 11:6) and gave him the gift of prophesy (1 Samuel 10:10) and victory over the Ammonites. But two years into his reign he was rejected first by Samuel and then by God, who had already set out towards choosing His successor (1 Samuel 13). The Spirit left Saul, because he did not put his trust in God, and was given to David instead (1 Samuel 16:13).

When the Spirit of God is removed from His chosen people there are consequences. During the Exodus, the people rebelled and “grieved the Holy Spirit“ causing God to become their enemy (Isaiah 63:10). When Samson told the scheming Delilah the secret of his great strength (Judges 16:17), he suffered terribly (Judges 16:21) because the Lord had left him. His strength (providing he kept his vow never to cut his hair) came directly from God. When the Lord rejected Saul as King, by removing His Spirit, Saul was tormented by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14) which would only leave him when David played the harp (1 Samuel 16:23). In the Gospel we read that blasphemy against the Spirit is a sin which will not be forgiven (Matthew 12:32), and Paul states that Christians should not grieve the Holy Spirit, telling us to get rid of every form of wickedness (Ephesians 4:30-31).

True obedience to God can only come by not blocking the Holy Spirit‘s power in our lives, by allowing the Spirit to completely possess us, leading us into a deeper relationship with our heavenly Father, helping us understand what God is saying to us through the Bible. David was well aware of what happened to Saul, and realised that in order to be a successful and wise ruler of his people, he must be equipped by the Holy Spirit (Psalm 51:10-12). Just as a car needs petrol to move, God‘s Spirit must fuel Christians too, because without the power of the Holy Spirit, we are unable to really understand God‘s revelation.

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