Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Divine Power of Music

1 Samuel 16

Interestingly enough, just after we find David selected as the next king (but before he actually becomes so) David enters the ongoing story line as a musician.

The spirit of the Lord comes "mightily" upon David (16:13), departs from Saul (16:14), and Saul is now tormented by an "evil spirit from the Lord (also 16:14). Saul's servants want to find him relief from these spells, and so they look for a musician, a lyre player. It turns out that David plays the lyre! He also is "a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence" (16:18). Saul "loved him greatly" (16:21), 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" (16:23).

It's nice to see this acknowledgment of the magic healing powers of music!

But, unfortunately, it turns out that the good relationship between Saul and David does not last long...


  1. Hello --

    This morning I randomly came across your blog(s) and just wanted to say I've really been enjoying some of the entries.

    I've also reflected on this passage in the past; given some of Saul's problems, this music must have been powerful medicine indeed.



  2. Laura,

    Thanks so much for writing! Yes, I'm slowly but surely making my way through the Bible. I've read significant portions of the New Testament in the past, even taking classes and participating in discussion groups. But this is my first journey through all of it, in order. I'd make faster progress, probably, if I hadn't decided that I would blog about it as I go. But speed does not matter so much to me as reflection.

    I've had a look at your blogs and very much appreciate them.

    Thanks again,