If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
The curious case of King Saul seeking out a medium to try and get direction for his life at a critical moment – may not seem very practical or relevant to you and me – but there is an underlying principle in it that is well worth our examination today.
Israel’s first King – Saul, is a complex character. Chosen by God he was tall, handsome and gifted. He was also weak, impetuous, volatile, and as time goes on, increasingly paranoid.
The truth is, he had some reason to be paranoid, especially when it came to David – but put himself in the position to feed his paranoia by his own repeated sin. My Dad used to say that no one said “I’m sorry” more than Saul did, but he never really repented either. While “I’m sorry” rolled easily off his lips, changing his behavior seldom – if ever – followed.
That’s a powerful lesson in and of itself. If we will not own our sin in such a way that we move beyond simple apologies to actually dealing with it in repentance – then in truth – “I’m sorry” means nothing. It’s worthless.
But the bigger lesson here is found when Saul – after rightly cleansing Israel of mediums, fortunetellers and other occult practitioners – finds himself seeking out a medium for supernatural guidance.
The problem was – Saul’s fellowship with God had been broken by his repeated unrepentance. The answer to his dilemma wasn’t information – it was restoration.
When our fellowship with God is broken due to sin, even His Word grows silent. Disobedience to what we KNOW is God’s will, is the single greatest barrier to getting to know anything of God’s will. It’s like the volume control on your radio. If you turn down the sound on one channel, you turn it down on every channel at the same time. When we refuse to listen to God in one area, we in effect turn down the volume to hearing him in every area. We are not permitted selective obedience. It is an all or nothing proposition. Christian obedience is not a buffet where we can pick and choose only what pleases us. For our obedience isn’t a matter of individual acts, but of loyalty to the King.
It isn’t His law we obey – it is Him.
Saul’s fellowship with God had been broken because of his unrepentant lifestyle. So what did he do? Rather than be reconciled to God in repentance, he sought out a medium and plunged into even more sin.
Years ago someone told me they were not going to take communion at our next service because they were angry with another brother in the Church and their heart wasn’t right before the Lord. They thought they were being quite righteous. The truth was, that choice betrayed they would rather disobey the command to take the Lord’s supper, than repent of their unforgiveness and be reconciled to their brother in Christ. They were choosing their anger over their God. Like Saul choosing a medium over being reconciled to God.
Saul felt justified because he NEEDED guidance regarding his next battle. And we might feel justified in pursuing some sin for our own reasons. But in the end, it can only bring disaster.
What a comfort to know then that we have a God who consistently calls us to Himself to confess our sins and remain in right fellowship with Himself.
Let that sink into your soul today.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back Monday.