The fruits of God’s Spirit are given to us in the New Testament in the book of Galatians. You have heard these quoted often. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Paul tells us that these nine fruits can be experienced in our lives and seen in the lives of others when lives are controlled by the Holy Spirit. I’m fascinated with the 1 Samuel 16:14 because it tells us that the Lord’s Spirit departed from Saul. Did the Spirit take these 9 fruits with him? It seems that He did because it was replaced with “a tormenting” spirit.

This tormenting spirit, I would argue, is a spirit in total contradiction to God and the Lord’s work. Therefore, instead of love we see hate. Notice how Saul’s heart turned against David. Instead of joy we see depression. Notice how often Saul lays in bed wanting someone to cheer him up. Instead of peace there is only conflict. Notice how Saul’s life is filled with family conflict as well as external conflict. Instead of patience we see over-reaction. Saul sends thousands to chase down his one enemy, David. Instead of kindness we see cruelty in Saul’s reaction to several events. Instead of goodness we see Saul’s selfishness destroying his relationships. Instead of gentleness we see explosions of anger with others around him. Instead of faithfulness we see Saul seeking out the advice of the witch at Endor. Instead of self-control, we see self-pity parties or extravagant actions to repentance, almost passive aggressive in personality.

In the introduction of David into the story there is one phrase that cannot be missed. It says, “and the Lord was with him.”

May the Lord and His Spirit be us with!

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2  Corinthians 13:11