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Feb 18, 2015

90 Day Challenge – Day 49

Sarah Christmyer

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Bible Time Period: Royal Kingdom

You established a kingdom on your servant David and promised him an eternal throne: Establish your kingdom in our midst.

Reflection

In chapter 27, David takes refuge among the Philistines.  He continues to conduct raids against Israel’s enemies (people who the Israelites failed to defeat during the conquest) while allowing Achish to believe he’s making raids on Israel.

Saul turns to divination in these chapters, even though divination and sorcery were prohibited by Mosaic law and Saul himself had put the mediums and wizards out of the land.

Today’s Reading

I Samuel 25-28

Today’s Question

Setting aside questions of what exactly happened in Saul’s encounter with the witch at Endor: what very clear message was sent to Saul at that time?

Join the discussion below!

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  • Saul and Isreal are to lose the battle to the Philistines and to David and his men who are among them the next day. Moreover, Saul and his sons will die the next day as well. This overbearing news made Saul too weak to face his enemy. Talk about depression without the ability to pray for God for help!

    • yeah, it does seem like the door was slammed shut. How sad that Saul’s sons had to be with him when Saul kicked the door closed.

  • Saul’s soul was so tormented since the early years, he didn’t even trust God anymore. Deep down inside his innermost being, he knew God was right and he was wrong, but his unyielding and unreasonable stance proved his ultimate downfall. “And Samuel said, Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy?” 1 Samuel 29: 18
    Sin has the most terrifying results if not dealt with properly with the Lord

  • Saul was exhausted by long abstinence, overwhelmed with mental distress, and now
    driven to despair, the cold sweat broke on his anxious brow, and he sank
    helpless on the ground. But the kind attentions of the woman and his
    servants having revived him, he returned to the camp to await his doom.

  • “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul (chapter 27).”This is what David said in his heart. That was a word of discouragement coming from a heart tired of trusting God for His continued deliverance. In his discouragement David forgot God’s past deliverance. What we say in our heart has a tremendous power to shape our thinking, our actions, even our whole destiny. It is David, here in despair, not Saul.

    If Saul told David, “You must leave us and go live among the Philistines,” David would never bow to it. But discouragement and despair are more powerful enemies than Saul. Discouragement and despair will drive David to do something that Saul could never make him do.

    • It is interesting how we can all derive different things from the same passages. In this case, Jose, I did not read despair or a heart tired of trusting God from David. I thought he was articulating a warning laid on his heart by God when he said he needed to go to the Philistines. This set the action of Saul’s destiny – to finally fulfill God’s pronouncement of judgment – into motion. David was just tucked safely away so he would not incur guilt in Saul’s final unraveling. So, I really think David was still very faithful, and patient, in allowing God to handle Saul.

      • True, we may have different come out from our own personal reflections of the words as fruit of our minds, and as we are hoping and wishing of what good things we may have on the store of what our loving Lord destined for us.

        As I commented somewhere when Christian 12 steps, that he unable to post, as by the time he posted it somebody has posted same thing. So I quickly inspired him to post because one thing sure, though somewhat similar, it will always reflect on different views.

      • In the same way Kerry when Time Magazine named Pope Francis its person of the year it draws widespread adulation from people in the international community in his views about economy, handling of homosexual, and in the subject of spirituality in general. Some even expressed fears of changing the perception of the church. But to me, Pope Francis never yet made any contradiction to the beliefs in the Catholic Church, he remains looking at the same mountain but views it in the different sides.

  • This is a good teaching about how we are to avoid fortune tellers, mediums, and all of the New Age things that masquerade as coming from God but are of the devil. This is typical of all who do not know the True God or (in Saul’s case) have disobeyed God and God’s Spirit is no longer working in their lives they still yearn for some spirit to satisfy this longing that they either never had or lost. The Apostle Paul also warned us about delving into these practices. Secular bookstores are full of books like these trying to lead people down the wrong path.

    • Some years ago, God made me aware of how displeasing it was to Him for me to even read the horoscope that is in our daily paper. Even though I thought I wasn’t really paying attention to it, it was opening up a spirit of doubt in me. I stopped reading it on that day and have never gone back! Praise God!! It is so important to pay attention to what you allow into your thoughts.

  • I found it interesting in Chapter 28,Saul in despair ,He consulted the Lord, the Lord gave no answer,reminds me today of all the people even protestents and catholics, who don’t get the answer they want from the Lord,and turn to New Age,Occult,there are in Barns and Nobles. A very large number of all these books,and many get sucked into them because, they haven’t had a strong relationship with Jesus,if one thing our Catholic church should do is preach with conviction to get conversion these type. Things should be preach from pulput on Sunday so people are informed that this stuff is out there,we must all keep our hearts close to Jesus
    God Bless Gordon Snow

  • Saul must have known how much Samuel grieved over him. When Samuel died that avenue for restoration was now gone to Saul but he thinks he can have the woman witch bring him back to help him out one more time. How far Saul has fallen from God’s grace as well as what he knew in his heart was the right, having previously sent all the mediums and fortune tellers out of the land. In his fear and dismay he is clutching at straws to bring back Gods’ favor. But it is not to be. Saul must have been like a man going to the gallows certain of his end.

  • God is not a liar – He is faithful to His word. He told Saul much earlier what would happen due to Saul’s disobedience, and now the time has come. How sad that Saul’s sons were to be taken as well, particularly Jonathan who was so faithful in honoring both his earthly father, his heavenly Father, and his covenanted brother David.
    This reminds me of the story of the man who was told a flood was coming and he needed to evacuate. He said the Lord would rescue him so he did not listen to the warning. The flood cam and the man found himself on the roof of his house to escape the rising waters. A man in a canoe came by and offered to take him to safety; he said the Lord would rescue him and refused the offer. The National Guard flew over in a helicopter and the scenario repeated itself. Finally, the waters overwhelmed the house and the man drowned. Finding himself before the Lord in heaven, the man was angry and asked: Why did you not rescue me? The Lord replied: I sent a warning, a man in a canoe and a helicopter; why did you refuse to listen and take the rescue I offered?
    How many opportunities from God did Saul have to atone for his mistakes and faithlessness, yet his pride and arrogance were stronger and made it impossible for him to let go of his earthly desires.

  • Saul had disobeyed God but was unwilling to accept God’s punishment and instead of asking for mercy and forgiveness, he seems to expect God to answer his prayers regardless. I wonder of Saul was just trying to use God for his convenience. Saul seems to have forgotten his sins or the need for repentance, so he sinks further into sin by consulting a medium. I see God as mercifully allowing the soul of Samuel speak to Saul to allow him yet another opportunity to repent. It seems that the message started to get through to Saul, as he was terror stricken.

    When reflecting on the story thus far, my mind turned to another Saul who did what he wanted, did not know God and slaughtered Christians for a living. This second Saul heard Jesus but was obedient and moved from Saul who denied God to Paul a beloved and obedient child of God. It is sad to think that the first tormented Saul was unable to fully turn back to God. Many times in my life I have been a Saul, but I thank the Holy Spirit for continually drawing me towards being a Paul.

    • Thank you Liz for your insight, I too, saw some similarities between the two Sauls. King Saul persecuted David, and Saul persecuted Jesus. Both had pride, King Saul in the end, and St Paul the beginning, King Saul tried to kill his son Jonathan because of his love for David and Saul watched as they stoned Stephen to death for his love for Jesus.They both died fighting. One for his kingdom and one for God’s kingdom.

      God can change the heart of anyone if we allow him into our hearts. God saw something in Saul’s (Paul) heart that he could use even though he was persecuting Christians, he took his sight away and kept him blind for 3 days. What a transformation! When he opened his eyes (in short) he converted to Christianity and his name was changed from Saul to Paul. God can do anything – the lesson here is that everything we are and have comes from God, our knowledge, our intellect our power, etc. all comes from God alone and God can use us if we are open to his commands and to his will. To quote St Paul ‘I can do anything in him who gives me strength’. Thank you God for this great missionary.

  • Saul is a life here on Earth, where chance after chance is given with direct details of such good outcomes to follow if one listens and does as God says. Instead, he just does not see the way of the Lord versus human beings devilish deeds. The consequence is his life and the innocent life of his son Jonathan.

    I still see David listening to the word of God.

  • It is pointed out to Saul what perhaps he knew all along, God is in charge. Saul has had many chances to repent but hasn’t. He has at this time decended so far into maddness this time that he even violates his own decree. Even at this low point he does not turn to God but to a psychic.

  • I thank you all your views and opinions, they were just all enlightening in our path in getting closer to Christ. May God bless us all, heal our illnesses, physically and spiritually as we come to the Lord as His servant wounded in sin, empty handed, except our faith given to us by the Church when we ask for in out baptism. We praise and thank you Lord!!

    As a man loved by God and gave us dignity, our own action, as in Saul, is our freedom gifted us which makes us a moral subject and our own deliberate acts, so to speak, we become the father of our own action. How would we know then that our own action is moral, (in Saul is to seek divination, to save his own people, Israel) in according to the Church teaching she received from Christ? Knowing in the background, Saul have sinned and already abandoned by God. But he has a human heart, like us today. Say as President, a leader of Nation, maybe

    President Obama of U.S. or President Aquino of the Philippines, Saul remains the anointed King of Israel, trying to apply Mastery or his Doctorate Degree in Politics to serve his beloved Nation, once again consulted God, but to no avail, still in vain. So in his own desperate situation to accomplish his good intention to serve and saved his people, as he is literally facing a blank wall, Saul will resort to anything possible under the sun, he can hold on a sharp knife, he can face a flying arrow or a smoking canon, and just all or any means, even to deliver his own very soul to anyone that could show him the way, just to materialize his good purpose to all Israel from the hands of Philistine impending murder.

  • Because Saul disobeyed the LORD, he was stripped of God’s kingdom and his punishment was death. Earlier Saul had plenty of time to repent, but instead he continued to sink deeper and deeper into sin while he kept pursuing David to have him killed, thus pursing to break one of the Ten Commandments of God. Now the time has come where the Lord will not answer Saul and he has no other recourse but to accept God’s judgment. Do we see Saul break down in homage and pray even though it is too late? No, he simply gives up and needs to be comforted. I am a bit surprised that he simply gives up. How often do sinners who are sentenced to death ultimately ask for a priest before their death sentence? Or they request someone in order to seek repentance before their death? He simply quit and gave up, signs that he was overwhelmed with evil from his overwhelming hatred and jealously of David.

  • This is a true lesson in humbleness. Saul demonstrated quite the opposite in this reading.

    When the image of Samuel reaffirmed what he said to Saul when alive, Saul was terrified. Saul did not ask God for forgiveness, nor did he think of his people or is family. He thought only of himself. The sin of despair can have such a strong grip one one’s soul. Saul felt there was no way out of the quagmire he had created for himself.
    God will forgive but the person must acknowledge their sin(s) first. Saul could not do that. He was deaf and blind because of guilt and jealousy for so many years.
    After reading these chapters in a study format for a few times, the lessons that I learn are so clear! Thank you, Sarah! And thank you, God my Father for the bible.

  • Saul immediately knows how, when, and by whom he and his sons will meet their demise. It is sad really that a man anointed by God would allow himself to stoop so low as to lose that anointing as well as to bring about his own death because of his abuse of the laws set by the Lord. While I don’t want to see anyone executed, Saul had many opportunities to repent but took none of them and, even through his own final action of seeking a fortune teller, showed is disobedience.

    As Lent begins, good wishes to you all for 40 days full of retrospection, prayer, gratitude and forgiveness.

  • I was heart broken when I read that Saul’s sons would also die… specifically Jonathan. I had to read forward to confirm the prediction came true. How sad that Jonathan had to die, as he was so faithful to David.

  • Apparently, God allowed this to happen so that He could pronounce a death sentence on Saul and his sons. Only God would have the power to allow Samuels soul to be there.This is the final demonstration of Saul’s true character—he is a king like those of all the other nations (see v. 7). The story also uses this to justify Saul’s rejection from the kingship (confirmed again in v. 7) and David’s accession to power.

  • Saul turned the mediums away from the kingdom and then when he did not get answers he wanted he turned to a medium. Strangely Samuel spoke to him. They were not words of comfort but of confrontation. This grieved Saul. Samuel’s words were that he had abandoned the Lord, and now the Lord had rejected him.. Did Saul have remorse or regret-big difference. Was he St. Peter (remorse) or Judas (regret). We have a choice.

  • Saul disguised himself from the woman by night, but what he definitely is missing is that one cannot hide from God the Almighty. Not even the fortune tellers – evil doers wanted nothing to do with him and his evil thoughts. Although, because he convinced them that they would have no fault in this. Sad way to buy in to false leaders.

  • Samuel reiterated to Saul what was said while he was alive, that because Saul disobeyed the Lord’s directive, the Lord tore the kingdom from Saul’s grasp and gave it to David, his neighbor. Samuel went on to say that Saul and his sons would die at the hands of the Philistines the next day.
    I know I would be terrified at having seen Samuel, but more at having heard what Samuel had to say. Not having read ahead to see what happens, I think about the meal the witch offers Saul. This may mean absolutely nothing, but if I had just seen and heard Samuel’s message, not only could I not have eaten, but if I had, I would surely be sick.
    I’m on the edge of my seat to find out what happens…

  • The true message sent to Saul from God through Samuel clearly defined there was no longer anything Saul can do to revive blessings from God. David did not have to kill Saul because his sins brought him death a long time ago, this is what God knew and Samuel knew God’s law enough to explain to Saul he will face death without forgiveness. The fact that his sons also must die due to “sins of the father,” is not clearly understood because Jonathan’s heart was not as hardened as his father’s. But, I would like to believe his soul was saved through God’s mercy. God gave us his son, Jesus who died for our sins to save us from a death like that of Saul’s. Thanks be to God, we are given 40 days of Lent to reconcile and repent for God’s mercy. Samuel’s message to Saul, is also a message to mankind.

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