Verse 14 is straightforward enough to understand, but it is much more challenging to grasp. The Lord’s Spirit left Saul, and in His place God sent an evil spirit to plague the rejected king. The transaction is clear, but God’s purposes behind it are cloudy. Why did God send an evil spirit? Why not just remove His Spirit from Saul? We have two options.
First, God may have sent this evil spirit to bring Saul to repentance. Perhaps this was God’s tool to break Saul of his pride and force him to depend on his God instead. Second, God may have sent the spirit as an act of judgment against Saul, much like He hardened Pharaoh’s heart in the exodus account.
While we cannot know God’s specific purpose in sending this evil spirit, we can know our holy God’s ultimate purpose: God’s desire was, and always is, to bring glory to Himself and work all things together for the good of His people. God will never fail to bring this end to pass, even if the means might be hard for us to understand.
What are some ways God was glorified through sending this evil spirit to Saul? How has God been glorified through adversity in your life?