April 19: 1 Samuel 28-31 & Psalm 18
4 The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”
8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” 9 The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” 10 But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” 11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” 13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” 14 He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.
15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.” 16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. 18 Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”
1 Samuel 28:4-19
You Light My Lamp
We return to the book of 1 Samuel in today's reading to find Saul in a great deal of distress. The camp of Israel was surrounded by their enemies, the Philistines, but as Saul sought the help of the Lord, he only received silence. In desperation, Saul turned to a medium from En-dor, asking her to bring up Samuel.
Notice, that as soon as Samuel actually appeared, the woman knew that it was Saul who sought her help.
11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.”
I am not sure what the woman expected, but I wonder if she really expected Samuel to appear.
Do you think Saul was surprised by the words of Samuel? If Saul had any hope left, it was soon vanquished; Samuel spoke plainly to Saul.
“Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? . . . Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me."
These words should strike fear into our hearts: The Lord has become your enemy. How quickly we lose sight of the God we serve; how quickly we are prone to let other things become more important than our service and obedience to Him.
One thing is certain; when you reach the end of this life, you do not want to be the enemy of God!
Contrast this with David; look at his words in Psalm 18:28:
For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
Was David perfect? When he became king did he live happily ever after? If he did sin, what was the difference between the sins of David and the sins of Saul? The answer lies in the heart! Who owns your heart?
Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart!
Pray that you can proclaim in confidence to God along with David, You Light My Lamp!
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.