Who Is On the Lord’s Side?
Loving Lord, You call me by name and You make me new. I wait now before You.
Read 1 Samuel 28:1-25
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic. 6:8). If we follow this teaching, we could be spared some difficulties.
These verses leave us with a lot of difficult but unanswered questions. Was the woman genuine or a charlatan? Did she really see and hear Samuel and relay his words to Saul? Did she call up a demon, or did she simply speak wise words herself and ascribe them to Samuel? What we do know is that consulting mediums or spiritists was forbidden by the law (Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:11), Saul himself knew that–he had, in his earlier, better days, expelled all such from Israel. There is no evidence elsewhere in Scripture that it is possible for the dead to be recalled in this way, and no reason is given anywhere to suppose that if they were recalled they would have any knowledge of the future. The woman clearly had insight, and she guessed it was Saul himself who had come to her. Samuel’s first question elicited the information that God had left Saul, who was therefore deeply afraid of failure. The following message told Saul nothing at all that he had not already been told.
Saul, as king, had been given the task of leading the fight against Israel’s enemies, primarily the Amalekites and the Philistines, but right from the beginning he seemed to have been unwilling to act without further instruction or further assurance: chapter 13 tells of his holding troops back and taking up the priest’s role of sacrificing, rather than getting on with his own job. This time his fear is understandable–he knows already that he is not going to succeed, but hopes against hope that he will hear something that will bring encouragement. He doesn’t, but it is to his credit that in any case and in spite of his fear, he does actually set out and joins the fight against the Philistines.
In today’s parlance, Saul could be considered a flake, i.e., eccentric, prone to say one thing and do the opposite. Here he expels the mediums and then consults one. Are there areas in your life where you are like that? How can you correct it?
Lord, I want my yes to mean yes and my no to mean no. I ask for the Spirit’s guidance as I journey thought the complexities of this life.
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