DESPERATE MEASURES

Scripture Reading: I Samuel 28:1-7

“And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim, or by prophets. 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.'” (I Samuel 28:6,7)

The Philistines gathered to fight against the army of Israel (v. 1). Samuel had died by this time (v. 3). When Saul saw the enemy, he was overcome by fear (vs. 4,5) and sought to inquire of the Lord. The Lord did not answer him (v. 6). We must remember what had happened to Saul — he failed to obey God and took matters into his own hands (15:23). Then we are told that the Spirit of the Lord departed Saul (16:14). Saul rejected the Lord and as a consequence the Lord rejected Saul.

Why would Saul turn to the Lord for guidance at this point in his life? Perhaps it was out of desperation. It certainly wasn’t out of piety. He did not have a heart for God. We know how far away he had turned from the Lord. Now he was attempting to use God.

I’ve seen people who do exactly what Saul did. They get into a desperate situation and turn to God. However, they do not have a heart for God; they do not love Him. They just want to use Him. When the crisis is over, they walk away from the Lord and return to their selfish ways.

Saul became even more desperate — “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” Saul turned to a witch for help. Here was the lowest ebb in the decline of Saul. He went to the other extreme — he turned to Satan.

Saul’s basic problem was his failure to face up to his sins and to repent of them. He continued in his rebellion against God and failed to admit his sins. This is when he became desperate and resorted to extreme measures.

If anything the story of Saul is a warning to us. It shows what can happen when we are in rebellion against God. It reveals how desperate we can become when we lose our bearing with God. It is a reminder of our need to face up to our sins and to repent of them. Jesus stands ready to forgive and He will restore us when we come to Him in repentance and faith. Saul lacked both.

Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner desperately in need of grace. I pray that I will not become rebellious and turn away from You. Please don’t let me turn to desperate measures rather than turning to You, who alone can deliver me from my sins and restore me to fellowship with You.

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