Summary: sooner or later, a person will pay the consequences of sinning against God!
Have you heard of the saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes!”? When people are facing death, there is a tendency to ask God for help! We will note this today in our passage.
Early in our study of 1 Samuel, even though Israel were God’s Chosen People, they wanted a king like those in their neighboring countries. As we would say today, the Israelites back then were trying to keep up with the Joneses. The Israelites became worldly they forgot they already have a king, the Lord almighty! God is a jealous God and so He gave the Israelites what they asked for to teach them a lesson.
God called Saul to be king actually to judge Israel for wanting an earthly king. Very quickly, King Saul ran away from God because of his pride and ego. Saul thought he could things in this world on his own without God! Do you know anyone today like Saul, who does not consider God in their lives?
But before we become too judgmental, it is interesting that God tells us on both sides of this final story of Saul, the story of David; David was growing his faith in God but we noted last week, David decided to do things on his own without God. Eventually, as we will see in Chapter 30 of 1 Samuel, David comes back to God; however, the consequences of neglecting God caused great pain for David and those with him.
God is God, no matter what we decide! Every person, including each one of us, may turn away from God but God will always be there. No one can run away from God!
As we read 1 Samuel 28, we will really not learn much new except to see Saul realizing that he still needed God. Why? – because Saul was about to face death! No one can run away from God and this will be very clear when one faces death; sadly to many, it will be too late. We will read in a few weeks in 1 Samuel 31 that Saul dies. God does not tell us where Saul’s soul went but Saul’s running away from God makes it uncertain if he will be in heaven! Our passage actually states that Saul became an enemy of God!
Sadly in the future, as we are told in the Book of Revelation, people’s hearts will be so hardened that even though they know there is a God, they will refuse to accept Him. Sin will cause hearts to be callous. Do we have unconfessed sins making our hearts calloused?
Before we continue with the message today, let us take a moment to quietly pray right where we are for a cleansed heart by claiming Jesus Christ as your Only Savior who died for our sins once and for all….
Let us read the final actions of King Saul in 1 Samuel 28….
v1-2: as we had noted last week, a consequence to his sin of neglecting God was David became a slave servant to an enemy!
Now, at first glance of v3, it looks like Saul was doing a good thing; but in context v3: actually tells us that Saul had no interest in spirituality once the high priest was dead! see v9..
v4-5: Saul sensed that the Philistines will defeat him and his army
Saul feared for his life! Saul was so scared as if he was in a foxhole, what does he do? show foxhole picture ..
v6: Saul prayed to God! But God did not answer, why??
Saul likely had unconfessed sins in his heart! Psalm 66:18 tells us… If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
We read in v7-10: in desperation, Saul sought out a spiritual medium (a witch)!
In v11-15: Saul thought Samuel could help him again!
Let us note here, like I mentioned earlier about people of the future, Saul knew God and the spiritual world, yet he did not obey God!
Now, we need to note that God actually forbids the calling of the dead (Deutoronomy 18:11); but to teach Saul, and more importantly to teach us, God allowed a spirit of Samuel speak…..
and what did Samuel say?
v16-19: Saul had many opportunities to turn back to God but he didn’t and it was too late to save his life and kingdom! With his unrepenting heart, Saul became an enemy of God!
Now, I am probably way off on this, but God closes this chapter with a sense of humor!
v20-25: The witch gave Saul his last supper just to get him out of her hair!!
You can tell me later if there is another meaning to the way this chapter ended
But again, the main biblical principle for us: No one can run away from God! So, sooner or later, a person will pay the consequences of sinning against God!