Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
1 Samuel 16:14-23 (NRSV)
Now the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skillful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.” One of the young men answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the LORD is with him.” So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David who is with the sheep.” Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.
Years ago, I was transporting a woman from a state psychiatric facility in North Alabama to a group home. Even though she was stable, she was still experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia. Periodically she appeared to be responding to auditory hallucinations. I tried to engage her in conversation, but most of what she said was garbled and did not make sense. Mostly we rode in silence for the 75 mile trip. When we were almost to our destination, I turned on the radio to a classic rock and roll station. When an old James Brown song came on, much to my surprise, “Jane” started belting out “I feel good! I knew that I would! So good! So good! I got you!” She sang along to the entire song, never missing a word.
Have you ever been in an emotionally bad place when you get to worship only to feel the tension leave your body as soon as the first hymn begins? Have you ever had the music in worship move you to tears?
I think music is one of the most awesome gifts from God. When Saul was being tormented by an evil spirit, his servant suggested that he find a good lyre player. As one first reads this passage, we don’t expect much to come from the servant’s suggestion, but it worked! David played the lyre for Saul, who was relieved and felt better. What a wonderful gift God has given us!
God of grace and all that is beautiful, thank you for the gift of music. Continue to feed us with your peace and mercy as we navigate the often rocky roads of life. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Go with God.