Read 1 Samuel 28:1
The Philistines declare war. Is David caught on the wrong side (I Sam. 28:1-2)? See chapter 29. Saul consults a witch (28:7-20). Saul's death foretold (28:19). Israel is defeated; Saul and his sons die tragically (31:2-6).
Saul was panic-stricken when the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek (I Sam. 29:1) and encamped against his armies at Mt. Gilboa. When Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not (28:5-6). David, the champion against the Philistines, was somewhere hiding from him, because Saul was trying to kill him; and Samuel, the prophet whom Saul had ignored for years, was dead. How could Saul forget that he had commanded Doeg to murder all the priests or that Samuel had declared: Because thou hast rejected the Word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king (15:23)?
Saul offered a hurried prayer to God, who alone controls the destiny of all battles; but he did not receive an answer from God. How could he expect an answer when he had murdered all the priests? He knew that mediums, spiritualists, witches, and fortune-tellers are an abomination unto the Lord (Deut. 18:10-12). In fact, earlier Saul had banished them from the land (I Sam. 28:3). However, in desperation, he foolishly decided to get advice from the witch of Endor. Saul traveled on his mule through the night to Endor, a small village on the northern slope of Little Hermon, about six miles southeast of Nazareth. The Philistine camp lay between Endor and Gilboa where Saul and his armies were positioned. How pathetic to see King Saul on that dark and fearful night. Saul was a man to whom God had given great opportunities by raising him to a powerful position to reign over the Israelite kingdom. God had endowed Saul with special prophetic gifts, but Saul had a history of choosing his own way rather than the way of God, his hardness and self-will disqualified him from receiving the grace and blessing of God.
As we read the Word of God, we recognize the evil of seeking guidance from those who use crystal balls, palm-reading, or fortune-telling. In fact, it is an insult to God. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7). The fearful, and unbelieving . . . and sorcerers, and idolaters . . . shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Rev. 21:8).
Thought for Today:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20).
Through the Urim (I Sam. 28:6), which was used to determine the will of God. Today Christ speaks to us through His Spirit and when we read His Word. God . . . Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (Heb. 1:1-2). When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come (John 16:13).
28:2 keeper of mine head permanent captain of my bodyguard; 28:7 familiar spirit demonic spirit that works through a medium, spiritualist, witch, or fortune-teller (Lev. 19:31; 20:6,27; Deut. 18:9-12); 28:14 mantle; 28:15 sore deeply; 28:21 sore severely; 29:3 fell unto me joined me; 30:12 his spirit came again to him be revived; 30:21 saluted greeted; 30:31 wont to haunt accustomed to stay; 31:2 followed hard upon overtook; 31:3 sore sadly.
Pray for our Military worldwide • Country: Cameroon (15 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: English and French • Pressure on Christians from authorities and Muslims • 28% Roman Catholic; 23% Muslim; 18% animism, divination, and animal sacrifices; 14% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Make everything you do a matter of prayer (I Thess. 5:17).
Optional Reading: Acts 11:1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:10