Message from the Monthly Flyer April 2017
1 Samuel 28:8-10 CEV That night, Saul put on different clothing so nobody would recognize him. Then he and two of his men went to the woman, and asked, "Will you bring up the ghost of someone for us?" The woman said, "Why are you trying to trick me and get me killed? You know King Saul has gotten rid of everyone who talks to the spirits of the dead!" Saul replied, "I swear by the living LORD that nothing will happen to you because of this."
In his attempt to regain God’s favour, king Saul had decided to search for the people who practiced necromancy in the land and kill them because God hates that. While he was busy doing that, the Philistines attacked the land of Israel. The Bible says that Saul was very much afraid when he saw the great Philistine army that had gathered to fight against him, and he trembled. He decided to go to God and ask him what to do. But God did not give him any answer. Saul then decided to force the hand of God to get his answer. He was actually saying “God, I did what you like by killing those in the land who speak with the dead, so now you have to give me an answer concerning this issue with the Philistines.” But there is absolutely nothing that we can do to make God do anything for us. We cannot demand anything from Him. He is a sovereign God. He resists the proud and he gives grace to the humble, and we cannot bribe Him. All we are and have in this life is only because of God’s grace, goodness, His love and His infinite mercy towards us.
Now, here is Saul going to seek for help in the very thing that he had decided to fight in order to please God. We can ask ourselves: “what about his convictions then? In a sense, he was telling God: “God, if you don’t want to talk to me, I will do it my way.” In his desperation, but also because of His stubbornness, king Saul asked his servants if there is anybody left in the land who can call the spirits of the dead so that he will know what to do about the Philistines. His intention or his desire was to call on the dead prophet Samuel to tell him what to do about the war against the Philistines. When he realised that God would not give him any answer, he surely started telling to himself: “I hope that we have not killed all the mediums in the land yet, because now they are the only ones I can turn to for help. They are my only rescue…” In a sense, we can say that Saul returned to his own vomit because he lacked the genuine humility that alone is able to move God’s heart. This situation shows us that his heart was not fully set in doing what is right in the sight of God. He failed the test when pressure arose. The circumstances we face in life will reveal our true mindset about the things of God. They will tell if our mind is really made up to follow God’s precepts, no matter the cost.
If we want to please God and have His favour, we must be true to ourselves and be determined to follow God’s ways and not our ways, regardless of how bad the situation may be. The pressures of this life will always reveal whether we are truly determined to live for God in humility and obey Him no matter the circumstances, or whether we will look for the comfortable way that will ultimately cause us to lose God’s favour and grace. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12 KJV “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” And again, in Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” Will we follow our own mind and plans when things are not going the way we like? When God seems to be silent in our lives, will we wait patiently in humility or will we take decisions that are contrary to His will for us? Is it really about God’s way or is it about our way? Will we go back to sin and compromise the word of God through disobedience because we have opted for the easier way? The rebellion that had displayed in the heart of Saul from the very beginning of his reign was showing up again now. He went so far as to disguise himself to consult a medium, he the great king of Israel. He hid his true identity to that medium because he knew perfectly that what he was doing was not right. And being the one who had eradicated (almost) all the mediums of the land, how could he now openly go ahead and consult one? It would have been a shame. But still, God exposed him. (To be continued). mt
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