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Can God send evil spirits?

But an evil spirit from the LORD came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape. 1 Samuel 19:9-10

Saul, Israel’s first king, struggled with a lot of personal issues, mostly paranoia and self-esteem. God allowed him to be king, but he was not the ideal leader.

Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel:”I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night. 1 Samuel 15:10-11

Saul was impatient and high-strung. This invited a lot of problems into his administration. He didn’t even trust his daughter or his son.

God is not evil, but he rules over the entire spiritual world, good and evil. The evil spirits love to torment and are kept away only by the power and grace of God. However, if a person strays from God, God can remove his hand from the evil spirits chomping at the bit to attack and permit them to have their way with someone.

Saul asked for trouble so God gave it to him. God’s desire was to remove this man from leadership and put the ideal king on the throne, David. From David would eventually come God’s own son, Jesus Christ, a king who would never leave the throne of heaven and save everyone from the torment Saul experienced once and for all.

God’s greater purpose superseded Saul’s sanity.