1 Samuel 16:23
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was on Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand…
Now listen to the poor hard-driven prayer: "Provide me now a man that can play well." Can we trace the genesis of that poverty-stricken cry? I think we can. Begin here. "He who drives out the prophet will come to whine for a fiddler." In the beginning, hard-pressed days with Saul found a messenger on the road speeding for Samuel. "Send for the prophet, bring the seer." But now he asks for no prophet. The counsellors he seeks are a feckless company, whose theatrical estimate of life can suggest to them no better medicine for a mind diseased than song and minstrelsy, and for a soul tragedy no better helper than "a cunning player." Surely better the prophet. though his truth be hard, than this despairing hunt for a minstrel. It all has point for us. There are some of the young men, to whom I specially address these words, who have felt how serious the problem of life is, to whom sin and its penalty are real, and goodness known as the only lasting and blessed thing. But the prophet taxed their thinking, troubled their conscience, cut too deep for comfort, pointed a way too hard, and they dropped him. They do not take the preacher seriously; they do not want the seer with fact-seeing eyes and fact-revealing speech; they have no longer mind for the prophet who speaks through the strong, great pages of literature. Instead of such company they like the set who say, "Find a cunning player;" and the round of pleasure, the worship of recreation and sport, the steeping of mind in the frippery literature of poor romance, is their way of saying, "Provide me now a man who can play well." But though the poor cry may assume with them a bravado's bounce, it is at root a whine, and the confession of a bitter need for more radical deliverance than anything that touches only the senses can give. You can track still further the cry. You cannot satisfy the soul by the tickling of a sense. The soul is satisfied only with God, and Saul has lost touch with God. The Maker of us has so fashioned us that our nature must go out of itself, and make its sanctuary in a greater and holier nature, before it can be rightly centred or rationally satisfied. "Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I," is the expression of this in David's life.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.