The Story of 1 Samuel | The Spirit of God Falls on Saul | 1 Samuel 19.18-24 |

by | Oct 25, 2020

18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” “Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said. 23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 1 Samuel 19.18-24

When was the last time you felt the Spirit of God? When you walked into a room of worship and you just knew God was there? This story of the Spirit of God falling upon Saul’s men and Saul reminds me of revivals that I have heard about like the Toronto Blessing in Canada or the Asbury Revival in Kentucky in the early 1970s that lasted eight days. It was a moment that began and spread, contagious to everyone who came into contact with God’s Spirit.

David was running from Saul and fearing for his life. The best place for him to go was to his mentor and the spiritual leader of Israel, the Prophet Samuel. Now God was with Samuel and had always been. David went for help and safety and Saul pursued him by sending men to capture David. “But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men and they also prophesied.”

This was certainly most unusual and unexpected. Consider the mighty warriors of the king coming to arrest David and before they know what’s happening, they are swept up by the Spirit of God and begin to praise God and tell of the mighty deeds of the Lord. Saul heard about this and sent more men and even more a third time. Each time the men were overcome with God’s Spirit and they too prophesied. Finally, Saul went himself “but the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.”

Naioth, as a noun, is the Hebrew word for the town where Samuel was residing and it fittingly means habitations. This dwelling place was where the Spirit of God resided with the Prophet of God Samuel and his newly chosen and future king David. Saul and his men were caught up by God’s Spirit until Saul remained day and night naked, laying before God’s presence and prophesying among the prophets.

It goes without saying that what happened then can happen today. The Spirit of God still comes upon people in moments of glory but also inhabits (i.e. ”naioth” the verb) people who are caught up in his presence both willing and unsuspecting. And when God comes upon people, even kings lay naked before God, utterly exposed, and unable to move.

Several lessons can be learned from this passage. First, God is powerful and those who seek him will find him. Second, His Spirit is accessible to all who follow Jesus. And third, even enemies of God (King Saul at this time) are no match for God’s strength and power.

I love this passage because like many of you I long for revival. I long for God’s Spirit to come upon his people and fill us with power, awe and repentance. I’ve experienced a sense of this a handful of times lasting from a few hours to a few weeks in which God’s Spirit comes quickly and heavily upon his worshippers every time we meet.

Nothing completes our soul like an encounter with God. Nothing is as satisfying as a touch from his Spirit. Why not pray for a Holy Spirit encounter today? When you meet with God your life will never be the same again.

“O Lord God, you are good. I glorify your name and celebrate you with praise. Thank you for loving me and for giving us your Spirit. Come now, Holy Spirit, pour yourself out upon your people, our nation and our world that your name might be made great once again. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen