1 Samuel 28:3-15
“Can you hear me now?”
1 Samuel is a book of the tale of two kings and the last of the Judges and the first of the Prophets (Samuel) knew them both well:
- Saul, whom the nation wanted, was a man that elevated human potential, a man who looked the part, but ultimately a worshipper of himself.
- David, who elevated God’s potential and was His choice. In David God defied human logic choosing a young cast off shepherd boy whom would epitomize God’s great ability to transform a man through his weakness and frailty.
Chapter 28 of 1st Samuel marks the transition from man’s king to God’s king but after looking at David in chapter 27 where he allied himself with the Philistines it is hard at times to distinguish between the two. God’s choices of the instruments he uses is confusing until we consider God’s words to Samuel (16:7), “the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”. David may have walked into the world of disobedience but Saul made it his home. It is in the 28th chapter amongst all the strange events we see the depths to which the Lord will go in trying to reach those who have hard hearts. We will also see the depravity of the human heart that refuses to listen to the Lord. Verses 3-4 lists three dynamics that led to Saul’s dilemma:
- “Samuel had died”: This is the 2nd time Samuel’s death has been reported (25:1) and it is clear that his death created a spiritual vacuum.
- “Saul had put the mediums and the spiritists out of the land.” Yet Saul sought out that which he has vanquished, in other words Saul was doubled minded and therefore unstable in all his ways.
- 4 “Then the Philistines gathered together, and came and encamped at Shunem.” Mounting pressure from an enemy whom Saul had neglected while chasing after David.
All of this leads us to the 15th verse and Saul’s question to the departed Samuel, “I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do.” Seven times Samuel uses the word to remind Saul that the Lord was not answering him because he had refused to listen for over 20 years. Oh to God that Saul would have only shortened his question to, “God has departed from me…. what I should do.” Saints, That, which we fail to slay in our life will be that which dominates our lives and if allowed to stay will shorten our lives. “God never departs from a man until the man has departed from Him.” It is always a better thing for us if we are listening to God from the start then recognizing that we haven’t heard from Him at the end!