1 Samuel 19

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Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
In back-translating this passage from the tribal language into simplified English for my students, I came to some startling and questionable conclusions. Does anyone have input? Am I reading this wrong?

1. From the entire story of Saul, evidently he was reprobate.
2. At this time the Spirit of God had left Saul and lived in David for the most part. Saul was intermittently possessed.
3. Presumably the episode of Saul’s prophesying was to assure David that Yahweh was perfectly capable of disabling his enemy. Can’t you imagine Samuel and David smiling as they watched their naked king, amazed at the power of God to totally disable the man?
4. Saul’s prophesying was under the influence of the Spirit of God.
5. Presumably whatever he said was inspired/infallible/true since it was divinely inspired. Does anyone disagree?
6. Is this the only OT example of divinely-inspired prophecy uttered by a reprobate who was intermittently possessed? Is there some other explanation of this narrative? Is Caiphas’ statement about one man dying for the nation a NT equivalent? Is this related to the NT passage about the reprobates saying, in the last day, "In Thy name we prophesied"?
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
Balaam prophesied.

Were the contents of Balaam's and Saul's prophesies necessarily infallible? There is also the opposite example of the prophet in Samaria that detained the man of God by telling him a lying prophecy.

This relates closely to a second question, whether the "false" in the term "false prophet" refers to the reprobate status of the person or the untrue content of what he says. Apparently reprobates can utter true prophecies and authentic prophets can lie. It's very confusing.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Not everything they ever said was infallible, but that which was spoken by the inspiration of the God of all Truth certainly was.

It means God can use a Balaam, or his ass, or another unsavory character to speak the truth. A true prophet of God doesn't prophesy falsehoods. We only judge the message by the messenger in a secondary sense. We hold the Word of God as the standard of measure. "To the law and to the testimony! If they speak not according to this Word, it is because they have no light in them." That they may sometimes speak "according to that Word" is like saying that a stopped clock is right 2X a day. "My sheep hear my Voice and they know me." That scoundrel in 1 Ki. 13 was an evil man, and the true prophet who listened to him made a grave error in judgment listening to him. That the evil man spoke a true word following his lie does not validate him in general, and it doesn't make Caiaphas an honorable fellow either.

The damned people who will cry out "but we prophesied in your name!" are more likely simply preachers (who are forth-tellers, though not fore-tellers who were both). Thus, that is a special judgment against all preachers (with or without special revelation unique to them) who are vain professors of religion.
 
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