“14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit (or an evil spirit) that filled him with depression and fear.
15 Some of Saul’s servants said to him, “A tormenting spirit from God is troubling you. 16 Let us find a good musician to play the harp whenever the tormenting spirit troubles you. He will play soothing music, and you will soon be well again.”
17 “All right,” Saul said. “Find me someone who plays well, and bring him here.”
18 One of the servants said to Saul, “One of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a talented harp player. Not only that—he is a brave warrior, a man of war, and has good judgment. He is also a fine-looking young man, and the Lord is with him.”
19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, “Send me your son David, the shepherd.” 20 Jesse responded by sending David to Saul, along with a young goat, a donkey loaded with bread, and a wineskin full of wine.
21 So David went to Saul and began serving him. Saul loved David very much, and David became his armor bearer.
22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse asking, “Please let David remain in my service, for I am very pleased with him.”
23 And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away.” (1 Sam. 16:14-23, New Living Translation)
In our world today, many of us deal with bouts of depression, fear and anxiety. Anxiety is a reaction of fear whether it is real or imagined. In my practice I deal with many people who are troubled with these issues and are looking for that magic pill that will take this away. I wish there was such a thing, but unfortunately, there is not, but God tells us a way that we can deal with these times in our life and that is listening to music. The key component is this Scripture that may be missed is that it was not any music, but music played by David, whom the Lord was with.
Today’s Christian contemporary music provides various genres and styles of music, a type and style for any event in your life. What is important about these artists is that they are Spirit filled. They are singing stories that are real and praises to our Lord that are uplifting and inspiring. May people shun this music, even though it has grown in popularity in the past few years, without giving it a chance and spending time listening to it. I will often challenge my patients who are dealing with issues of anxiety and depression to take one week and listen to only Spirit filled music. Music that praises our Lord, that tell stories of His saving grace and how people have been rescued through their faith and trust in Him. This challenge is meant to allow us to experience the power of music to soothe the soul, when it is Spirit filled music.
There are different types of Christian music, and one has to find an artist or genre that fits their taste, but we also have to be careful to play something that is appropriate for the mood we are facing. We don’t want to play a tear jerker if we are already depressed and we also don’t want to play an up tempo song if we are trying to relax. It is amazing the difference that people feel when they accept this challenge and follow it for a week. They each find that it soothes their soul, releases the tormenting spirit that is bothering them and helps them to reconnect with God and His everlasting love and grace.
We have long been told and it has been proven that music can soothe the soul, but if it is not Spirit filled, is it really healing our condition or just helping us to push in down further in our soul only to come back another day. When the music is Spirit filled, it can truly chase that tormenting spirit away and out of your mind and body. It opens your heart and allows your heart to take over your body and bring peace to your soul that eliminates those bouts of depression and anxiety. With our technology today, music is only an app away on our phones and ear buds are easily kept in our pockets. There is no reason to not utilize what has been provided for us, to help us in those times of darkness that we will all experience.
So next time you find yourself in that darkness of depression or the turmoil of anxiety, take a music break, but not any kind of music break, take a Spirit filled music break. I believe that you will find that this may be all you need to bring you out of your darkness and soothe you from your anxiety. God showed us in the verses above how David was able to soothe Saul and this was at a time when Saul was not following God and God’s Spirit had left him. God’s spirit can work for all of us, but we must first be open to letting Him in.