April 10

 

Read I Samuel 28 -- 31

 

In Today's Reading:

 

David stays in Philistine territory; Saul is troubled over the Philistine army and consults a witch who claims to contact the dead

 

After Samuel became judge, the Philistines were so badly defeated because of his prayer meeting at Mizpeh that they came no more into the coast (territory) of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel (I Samuel 7:13). But, there was sore (severe) war against the Philistines all the days of Saul (14:52).

 

In the final year of Saul's reign, the Philistines gathered to gether all their armies to Aphek (29:1). Saul panicked when he realized the size and power of the Philistine armies that were ready to attack. Could Saul forget that Samuel had said: Because you have rejected the Word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king? (15:23). Out of jealousy, Saul also had attempted to kill David and had forced him into exile. Finally, in desperation, Saul inquired of the LORD (28:6). Since he had murdered the priests of God, how could he expect an answer? How pathetic it is to see Saul riding through the night, frantically seeking counsel from a fortune-teller in Endor. He knew that mediums, spiritualists, witches, and fortune-tellers are an abomination to the LORD (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). In fact, earlier Saul had banished them from the land (see I Samuel 28:3). This fortune-teller was no help. Instead Saul's fears increased even more after the appearance of Samuel, who said: Why then do you ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from you, and is become your enemy? (28:16). The next day Saul, along with most of his sons, including Jonathan, was killed in battle. At last Saul reaped what he had sown.

 

Saul's worst enemy was himself. He had lived a self-serving life. Power, wealth, popularity, and talents are often great hindrances to a spiritual life. Some still seek guidance from psychics, fortune-tellers, palm readers, and other demon-controlled people, rather than crying out to their Creator in times of great distress and relying upon Him alone.

 

True success will result from seeking the Lord's will through reading His Word while at the same time praying to the Lord for guidance. No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).

 

Word Studies:

 

28:2 keeper of mine head = captain of my bodyguard; 28:7 a familiar spirit = demonic spirit that works through a medium, spiritualist, witch, or fortune-teller (Lev. 19:31; 20:6,27; Deut. 18: 9-12); 28:14 mantle = robe; 28:15 sore = deeply; 29:3 fell unto me = came over and joined me; 30:12 his spirit came again to him = he revived; 30:31 wont to haunt = accustomed to stay; 31:2 followed hard upon = overtook him; 31:3 went sore = went badly.

 

Christ Revealed:

 

Through the Urim (I Samuel 28:6), which was used to determine God's will. Today Christ speaks to us through His Spirit when we read His Word. God . . . Has in these last days spoken to us by His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). However when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come (John 16:13).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Iva Mae McElroy · Country: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (19 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India · Major languages: Sinhala and Tamil · Christianity suppressed · 67% Buddhist; 15% Hindu; 8% Roman Catholic; 7% Muslim; .75% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord's forgiveness with a repentant heart, knowing that God will graciously receive you (Hosea 14:1-2).

 

Optional Reading: Acts 11

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:16