Tuesday, March 22, 2011

1 Samuel 27-29

an easy read for us today, but and important one.  We are nearing the end of Saul's time as King and approaching David's elevation into that role.  This is a dark time in David's life.  He has said in his own heart that "I shall Perish" and "there is nothing better than to escape."  The result of David believing in his own heart that there is nothing better is that he will dwell in Gath among a people that worships idols and does not believe in God.  David fails to trust in God for his protection and security.  We must guard our hearts.  Once we say in our own hearts, I cannot rely on God or God does not know me or God does not see and care for me, then it is easy to dwell in the despondency and confusion that would come for one who does not rely on the eternal and faithful promises of God.  The heart is the gateway to all other emotions.  Believing and trusting and beginning each day claiming the relationship of a child of God will keep us from the negative things that Satan would put upon us.  I suspect that these few chapters with David living in Ziklag and raiding and murdering and looting are outside of God's preferred future for David, but still God is faithful.  God has chosen David because he is a man after his own heart and he has not removed his love and care for him.  Even as this reading closes and the Philistines refuse to allow David and his 600 men to fight with them against Saul is evidence of God's providential care.  What would David have done if he saw his best friend Jonathon surrounded by Philistines?  What would David have done to protect Saul at the time of his death when he had so carefully preserved his life in other episodes because he was anointed of God?  to be present at the death of Jonathon and Saul might have put David's life at risk as well and God had much greater plans for him.

The sad story of the Witch of Endor and Saul has a lesson or two for us as well.  Saul has outlawed the occult practices but now with Samuel's voice gone and God having left him, he is desperate for a word that will help him as he prepares for battle against the Philistines.  In his desperation he seeks out the help of the Witch of Endor and her black magic.  The use of witches, tarot cards, ouiza boards, palm readers, relying on horoscopes are all practices that our un-christian in our understanding.  they rely on powers that do not come from God to make their predictions.  We are cautioned in scripture about them because they lead us away from fully relying on God as our source and our strength. 

This is among the final chapters of Saul's life.  How sad, he was chosen by God, but over the term of his life he has rejected God so much that God has abandoned him to his own devices.  In essence, Saul has hardened his own heart and God can no longer be felt or heard.  A great cautionary tale is here for us about our own relationship with God.  God chooses us but we must also choose God for this to be an abundant life.  The witch calls on Samuel and then fears the powers of the Holy Spirit when Samuel appears and foretells the death of Saul and his sons in this next battle.  Even the powers of evil quake at the truth of God.  Go to the true source for your wisdom rather than relying on a fake power, and a power that will one day be cast into the darkness for all of eternity.

I hope you are having a great week and that God grants you an opportunity to witness to his great love.  And then a pray that you will boldly be an agent of God's presence.  God bless you!!!

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