1 Samuel 28:1-25 – When Desperation Sets In

Read 1 Samuel 28:1-25

A mug with phrase on it: worry less, live more

Saul must have still be hopeful that God would change his mind and help him. Saul had relied on God’s direction for a long time before he made his costly blunder. He was hoping for a forgiving God. God is forgiving, that is not the problem. God is true to his word, and he told Saul what would happen if, and Saul didn’t believe it then either.

We hear that Saul had banned mediums from the land, yet he was able to find one. She was at least trying to abide by the law, but Saul was desperate. He needed an answer. The battle was looming and he needed a word from God.

God was silent. Saul was going crazy with fear, and he was obsessed with receiving a message from God. Can you relate to being frantic before God waiting on him to move? God was silent with Saul because of Saul’s disobedience. If God seems silent to us, there is a reason.

For Saul, he had to know. He even disguised himself and tried to trick a medium he was able to find. After some convincing, Saul was able to speak with Samuel by some supernatural way. Knowing how God despises that type of behavior doesn’t mean it can’t happen. I was just surprised to see an account like that recorded.

The message Saul was hoping for was not the message he received. His worst nightmare was about to play out, according to what the “now dead” Samuel tells him. Samuel told him God wouldn’t be helping him and reminded him why. Saul may finally be coming to grips with what he did and how it changed everything.

We’re usually not given notice of our own obituary, but Saul was. Samuel’s words from the grave, “What’s more, the Lord will hand you and the army of Israel over to the Philistines tomorrow, and you and your sons will be here with me. The Lord will bring down the entire army of Israel in defeat.” We still don’t know the details, but we know the outcome.

David’s turn was all but here. But David is presumably fighting for the Philistines in this battle. What will the Israelites say to that? This is a bit of a cliff hanger, as our reading comes to an end.

Until next time, think about times when you have felt desperate in your life. Maybe your faith was even wavering a bit. Didn’t God make something beautiful out of that valley in your life? Perhaps he’s still working on that Plan B.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray … Lord, there are times when I long to hear your voice directing me in a decision I’m trying to make. I also long for the assurance that I am on the path you have chosen for me. I know you are sometimes silent to allow me to grow and experience life. But I want, above all, to be living in your will. May my life be pleasing to you. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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