I had a question about this weeks Bible reading in 1 Samuel 16:14 it read in part, "Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him." I've never heard or seen in the Bible before about harmful spirits from the LORD. What does that mean?
To understand this, we first we need to look at this story from the perspective of the writer, who was a Hebrew. We know and can see from the rest of the Biblical narrative that in Hebrew thought, everything was from God. Job says in 1:21, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” The Hebrews knew their God to be the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe. When God blessed them with good rains in the rainy season and a bountiful crop in the harvest, they knew God had sent that to them. We also see that when the Israelites sinned and God handed them over to their enemies, that they knew this “evil” or “suffering” had come from God (see Judges 6:1-10). For God to withdraw His Spirit left Saul open to spiritual attack and God allowed an evil spirit to attack Saul. In Hebrew thought, this Spirit was sent from God.