Scripture reading for March 25: 1st Samuel 27-31
Have you ever been curious about what will happen in the future? Our world is full of curious people and everyone would like to know about tomorrow. If we had that information, we feel that we could get rich, save ourselves from disaster, or control the world. God warns us not to seek any source other than Himself for this information! (Leviticus 19:31) He is the only source of Truth because He alone knows the things to come! (Isaiah 42:9)
Saul, tormented by the evil spirit that came as a result of his rebellion, sought information about the future by disguising himself and going to visit a medium. He had tried to seek the Lord first, but God didn’t speak through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6) He was terrified and desperate for direction. He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land in accordance with the law of God. His disobedience showed that obedience to God was still not a priority in his life.
This incident is very perplexing because it seems that God allows the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead through this medium. Samuel speaks prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day. (1st Samuel 28:16-19) Again, God’s Word is true and truth about what happened and will happen comes from Him alone. He can record our sin truthfully and still show mercy to us in the midst of our sin by speaking truth. When we are in rebellion and under God’s judgment, truth is hard to face. True repentance must be sought while the Lord may be found! (Psalm 32:6-7)
True to the Word of Samuel, Saul and his sons die the next day. Saul is wounded and asks his armor bearer to put him out of his misery. The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life! Even in his death, he took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6)
The life and death of this first human king of Israel has much to teach us. Saul’s anointing by Samuel to become king was a wonderful opportunity to rule and lead under God’s guidance. Saul’s choices to disobey God’s clear instructions brought consequences that eventually lead to further rebellion and death by suicide. Someone has said, “sin truly takes us further than we want to go, holds us longer that we want to stay, and exacts a price higher than we want to pay”.
If you are doing something in clear disobedience to the Word of God, take time right now to get down on your knees and ask the Lord for mercy! God gives grace to the humble. Repentance is more than just saying you are sorry, it is getting up to go a new direction of willing obedience! (2nd Corinthians 7:9-11) Without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sins! “But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)