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Bible Pathways - April 10, 2006

April 10, 2006

Read 1 Samuel 28

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 together 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 thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king? (15:23). Out of jealousy, Saul also had attempted to kill David and 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 unto the LORD (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). In fact, earlier Saul had banished them from the land (I Samuel 28:3). This fortune-teller was no help. Instead his fears increased even more after the appearance of Samuel, who said: Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? (28:16). The next day Saul, along with all but one 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 seek guidance from psychics, fortune-tellers, palm readers, and other demon-controlled people, rather than crying out to the Lord in times of great distress and relying upon Him alone.

True success is the result of 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 (Leviticus 19:31; 20:6,27; Deuteronomy 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 . . . Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (Hebrews 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).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Jesus' birthday · Staff: Ken Sharp · Country: Poland (39 million) in eastern Europe · Major language: Polish · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 1% Eastern Orthodox; .5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray in secret before God, not seeking human praise (Matthew 6:6).

Optional Reading: Acts 11

Memory Verse for the Week: I Samuel 15:23

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