Tuesday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Samuel 28:3-25 (NKJV)
3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented for him and buried him in Ramah, in his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the spiritists out of the land.
4 Then the Philistines gathered together, and came and encamped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel together, 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 the prophets.
7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”
And his servants said to him, “In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor.”
8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please conduct a seance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.”
9 Then the woman said to him, “Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?”
10 And Saul swore to her by the LORD, saying, “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?”
And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”
13 And the king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What did you see?”
And the woman said to Saul, “I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.”
14 So he said to her, “What is his form?”
And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle.” And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down.
15 Now Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”
And Saul answered, “I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do.”
16 Then Samuel said: “Why then do you ask me, seeing the LORD has departed from you and has become your enemy? 17 And the LORD has done for Himself 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 nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”
20 Then immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, and was dreadfully afraid because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day or all night.
21 And the woman came to Saul and saw that he was severely troubled, and said to him, “Look, your maidservant has obeyed your voice, and I have put my life in my hands and heeded the words which you spoke to me. 22 Now therefore, please, heed also the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a piece of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way.”
23 But he refused and said, “I will not eat.”
So his servants, together with the woman, urged him; and he heeded their voice. Then he arose from the ground and sat on the bed. 24 Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she hastened to kill it. And she took flour and kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread from it. 25 So she brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.
Today we find out that going away from the voice of God leads one to place their faith and trust in other voices, which allows a person to find out things that are not wanted.
Samuel had died and was no longer able to give guidance during Saul’s reign. Rather than trusting God for what to do next, Saul sought guidance from a medium to bring up the person of Samuel. The spirit told Saul, “Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord…” Saul would lose the kingdom to David, and he would fall at the hands of the Philistines.
Many people like Saul do not take the Word of the Lord seriously as an actual voice of the Lord speaking to mankind His will for their lives. Instead, the Word of the Lord is seen as a book of suggestions for a good moral life, or else a book that only is one among many to be used for self-preservation or psychological insights. Of course, others are willing to place it into the category of cultural reading that needs to be on someone’s bucket list.
As followers of Christ in these last days, we hold the Word of God as inerrant and infallible. It is without lies or contradictions because God the Father is the only author, from beginning to conclusion, and by it our lives are blessed with peace, hope, and love, with all we need to support this body and life, both spiritually and physically. Life may not be what we would always like, or what makes sense, but God our Father has promised to be with us always, to the very end of the age.
Prayer: I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, trusting only Thee; trusting Thee for full Salvation, great and free. Amen. (TLH 428:1)