All of you have conspired against me … and there is none of you that is sorry for me. 1 Samuel 22:8.
The spirit of evil was upon Saul. He felt that his doom had been sealed by the solemn message of his rejection from the throne of Israel. His departure from the plain requirements of God was bringing its sure results. He did not turn, and repent, and humble his heart before God, but opened it to receive every suggestion of the enemy. He listened to every false witness, eagerly receiving anything that was detrimental to the character of David, hoping that he might find an excuse for manifesting his increasing envy and hatred of him who had been anointed to the throne of Israel.
Every rumor was credited, no matter how inconsistent and irreconcilable it was with the former character and custom of David.
Every evidence that the protecting care of God was over David seemed to imbitter and deepen his one engrossing and determined purpose. The failure to accomplish his own designs appeared in marked contrast to the success of the fugitive in eluding his search, but it only made the determination of the king the more unrelenting and firm. He was not careful to conceal his designs toward David, nor scrupulous as to what means should be employed in accomplishing his purpose.
It was not the man David, who had done him no harm, against whom the king was contending. He was in controversy with the King of heaven; for when Satan is permitted to control the mind that will not be ruled by Jehovah, he will lead it according to his will, until the man who is thus in his power becomes an efficient agent to carry out his designs. So bitter is the enmity of the great originator of sin against the purposes of God, so terrible is his power for evil, that when men disconnect from God, Satan influences them, and their minds are brought more and more into subjection, until they cast off the fear of God, and the respect of men, and become bold and avowed enemies of God and of His people…. God hates all sin, and when man persistently refuses all the counsel of heaven, he is left to the deceptions of the enemy.
Conflict and Courage p. 165Samue
When Eileen was two, we lived in Pennsylvania where Ron had a job selling religious books door to door. He made very little money and we were in great need. It was very cold that winter and we had no heat except a wood burning stove. Since we had no money for wood, I went daily to a place where a lamp factory dumped their scrap lumber. It was out in the woods. I followed the tracks left by the truck that dumped those scraps and filled the trunk of the car with them.
One day, when I was ready to go home, my car would not start. I cried tears of despair: so did Eileen. Then I began to notice the sound of men working. I took my little one by the hand and we walked in the snow toward the sound of their voices. We had no boots and no gloves and we felt like we were frozen by the time we reached those men. They looked surprised to see a woman and her child come walking out of the woods along the trail. I explained my problem and several men drove us back to my car.
They opened the hood and one man immediately knew the cause of my trouble. We had seen an advertisement for a device that was supposed to make our car run better and get better gas mileage. We had used what little money we had to buy that tiny device anticipating saving money in the long run. We had had it only a few days. The man removed it, and the car started with no problem. How thankful we were that he knew what to do! How thankful we were for his kindness! I am sure God has repaid him for his kindness to us.
How often we listen to the devil’s “advertisements” and “buy” his devises. We think that they will benefit us, but we are sadly mistaken. Within a short time, we feel discontented and disillusioned. We realize that we have listened to his cunningly devised fables and fallen into a snare of the evil one.
These snares come in various “packages.” Sometimes they are the whispered suggestions with which the enemy of souls bombards us throughout the day and even as we wait for sleep to overtake us at night. Indeed, Solomon sums it up thus, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Prov 6:16-19
Sometimes the devil’s “packages” are decorated with tinsel and beautiful wrappings. We are allured by the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in. These choke the Word and we soon realize that we have fallen into a trap of materialism. Our Dear Saviour says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt 6:24
The evil one’s devisings are taylor-made for each one of us. Therefore we must “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. [ Putting] on the whole armour of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Eph 6:10-13 We must “be sober, be vigilant, because [our] adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith.” 1 Peter 5:8,9
How much we need our Great Redeemer’s strength to resist! How much we need His guidance and watchcare! Praise God ! It is ours for the asking! Let us 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. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.” Ps 51:10-14