Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Philistines declare war. Whose side will David take (28:1-2)? God solves David's problem by having the Philistines reject his help to fight (chap. 29). Saul, who lost communication with the Lord, now seeks it via a witch (28:7-20). Samuel delivers Saul's death warrant (28:19). David's family and others are kidnapped (chap. 30). Israel is defeated and Saul dies tragically (31:2-6).
Saul's disobedience in the early years of his reign seemed insignificant to him, but he developed a habit of choosing his own way rather than the will of God. God had given Saul the privilege of reigning over the kingdom of Israel, but his persistent disobedience and hatred of David disqualified him from continuing his rule over the people of God.
When Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled (28:5). Saul had ruthlessly murdered all the priests of Nob earlier (22:18-19) and Samuel was dead; his godly support was gone. When Saul (in despair) inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets (28:6).
In a final act of desperation and in willful rebellion against the Word of God, Saul sought advice from a sorceress. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried (out) with a loud voice (in a state of shock): and . . . spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul (28:12) (who had banned this evil practice). Then said Samuel . . . the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy (28:16).
Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines. . . . And the Philistines . . . slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul's sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. . . . Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it (31:1-4).
Like Saul, those who reject the Truth of God can easily become victims of false prophets, spirtualists, fortune-tellers, or other worldly counselors (Deut. 18:10-12; Matt. 24:24).
Those who are willing to walk by faith according to the light of the Word of God will never seek guidance or information from any Satanic source.
Jesus warned that before His return many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many (Matt. 24:11).
Thought for Today:
Continual rejection of the will of God will harden our hearts. To remain sensitive to His will, daily read and obey the Word of God.
Through the Urim (I Sam. 28:6), which was used to determine the will of God. Today Christ speaks to us through His Spirit when we read His Word. God . . . Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (Heb. 1:1-2). 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 shew you things to come (John 16:13).
28:2 keeper of mine head =permanent captain of my bodyguard; 28:7 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; 28:21 sore =severely; 29:3 fell unto me =came over and joined me; 30:12 his spirit came again to him =he revived; 30:21 faint =exhausted; saluted =greeted; 30:31 wont to haunt =accustomed to stay; 31:2 followed hard upon =overtook; 31:3 sore =sadly; 31:4 abuse =torture.
Pray for Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Country: Guinea-Bissau (1 million) on the western coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Criolo • Religious freedom • 51% animist; 42% Muslim; 6% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Depend upon the Holy Spirit to help you in your prayers (Rom. 8:26-27).
Optional Reading: Acts 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:9-10