The Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. 1 Samuel 28:6.
The Lord never turned away a soul that came to Him in sincerity and humility. Why did he turn Saul away unanswered? The king had by his own act forfeited the benefits of all the methods of inquiring of God. He had rejected the counsel of Samuel the prophet; he had exiled David, the chosen of God; he had slain the priests of the Lord…. He had sinned away the Spirit of grace, and could he be answered by dreams and revelations from the Lord? Saul did not turn to God with humility and repentance. It was not pardon for sin and reconciliation with God, that he sought, but deliverance from his foes. By his own stubbornness and rebellion he had cut himself off from God. There could be no return but by the way of penitence and contrition; but the proud monarch, in his anguish and despair, determined to seek help from another source…. It was told the king that a woman who had a familiar spirit was living in concealment at Endor…. Disguising himself, Saul went forth by night with but two attendants, to seek the retreat of the sorceress….
What bondage so terrible as that of him who is given over to the control of the worst of tyrants—himself! Trust in God and obedience to His will were the only conditions upon which Saul could be king of Israel. Had he complied with these conditions throughout his reign, his kingdom would have been secure; God would have been his guide, the Omnipotent his shield. God had borne long with Saul; and although his rebellion and obstinacy had well-nigh silenced the divine voice in the soul, there was still opportunity for repentance. But when in his peril he turned from God to obtain light from a confederate of Satan, he had cut the last tie that bound him to his Maker….
By consulting that spirit of darkness Saul had destroyed himself. Oppressed by the horror of despair, it would be impossible for him to inspire his army with courage. Separated from the Source of strength, he could not lead the minds of Israel to look to God as their helper. Thus the prediction of evil would work its own accomplishment.
Conflict and Courage p. 171
—–Please pray for E who was just diagnosed with cancer. W
—–Please pray that my cousin can get the benefits that he needs for his health’s sake. Please pray for him and his family spiritually too. L
When my mother and her sister, Joyce, were little, they used to wait for the ice man to stop by. Many people in those days still had ice boxes instead of refrigerators. As the wagon would pull up in front, they were right there to get their treat. The ice man would always take a pick and chop off a small piece of ice for each of them. They would enjoy its coldness on a hot summer day.
One day Joyce was walking past the fire station. On the ground was a small chunk of ice. Joyce stopped and looked at it. As this ice melted in the summer sun, it gave off a cloud of vapor. Joyce was too young to realize that it was not regular ice. One of the firemen, winking at the others, said, “Would you like that piece of ice?” Joyce was very happy and quickly picked it up and licked it. At least she tried to lick it, but her tongue stuck fast to that dry ice. Frightened, she pulled and pulled. What terrible pain! The men laughed uproariously.
When my grandmother managed to remove that frozen carbon dioxide from her tongue, however, part of the surface of her tongue stayed on that offending ice. My grandmother was livid with rage and walked down to that fire station and let those men know how cruel they were.
How often sin looks attractive to us just as that dry ice looked like regular ice to Joyce. It appears to be safe, but there are eternal consequences involved. Often others urge us to try it “just once.” That “just once” can start us on a lifetime of bondage to sin. That “just once” can ruin our lives. That “just once” becomes our strong enemy just as the serpent’s “just this once” caused Adam and Eve to lose their innocence, their home in Eden, their open communion with the Great Creator of the Universe.
Just as Joyce fled to her mother when she had tried to lick that dry ice, so we can flee to our Dear Saviour when we are allured by the cruel temptings of the evil one. He, alone, can remove sin from us. He, alone, can heal us from its painfulness, blot out our transgressions, wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from all our sins. He has paid the price with His Own Life. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” Isa 53:6-9 Wonderful Saviour!
May we come to our Great Deliverer, that He may remove from us the “dry ice” of sin. May we pray as did David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Ps 51:10-13 May the “very God of peace sanctify [us] wholly, and I pray God [our] whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth [us], who also will do it.” Amen! I Thes 5: 23, 24