Summary: An Exposition of 1 Sam. 28:3-25
Wrong Turns, Wrong Roads, and Dead Ends
1 Sam. 28:3-25
A man and his wife had just moved to town, and he was coming home from his first day at work. As he’s driving down the highway, his cell phone rings, and it’s his wife. “George, I just had to call you and tell you to be careful. I just heard on the radio that some nut got off the on ramp and is now driving the wrong way down HWY 280!” “It’s worse than that!" said George, "I’m driving home on 280 and it’s not just one car. It’s hundreds of them!"
You’ve probably never made that big of a mistake on the road, but most of us have made some wrong turns here and there. Jennifer usually does the navigating when we drive for just that reason: I have almost no sense of direction. I could get almost get lost on a playground, much less the interstate. Fortunately most wrong turns are no big deal if you’re willing to trace your steps back to where you left the right road, and to ask directions (unless you’re a man.)
But sometimes taking a wrong turn can be serious business, especially when you’re talking about the road of your life. In Matt. 7:13-14 Jesus Christ once said every one of us is walking down one of two roads: one wide road that leads to death, and a narrow road that leads to life. His words imply that making a wrong turn in life is not just inconvenient, but disastrous.
I want to talk to you this morning about a man who made some disastrously wrong turns in his life. His name is Saul, and he was like most people who make a wrong turn: he didn’t realize the danger until it was too late. From this tragic episode in his sad life, I hope you and I can learn to avoid wrong turns, and most of all, to realize that if you’ve made a wrong turn this morning, it’s not too late to turn around. Would you look with me at 1 Sam. 28:3-25?
Father, we ask you to help us read our map this morning. You have given us your Word, the Bible, as a roadmap for life. You have given us your Son Jesus, Who told us He is the Way. You have given us Your Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised would lead us into all truth. As we read this morning, let us hear Your Voice speak through Your Word and Your Spirit to our hearts about Your Son. Help us recognize some of the wrong turns we are prone to make, and help us learn to stay on the right road. For those who need to start the journey on the narrow road this morning, I pray you will show them the danger they are in, and give them the courage to turn around and come to Christ, Who is the only Way to Heaven. For all You have done for us and all You will do today, we praise you and thank you, in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Let’s begin by pointing out a very real danger about wrong turns in life:
I. SOMETIMES A WRONG TURN LOOKS LIKE THE ONLY OPTION. (v. 3-6)
I’ve noticed a lot of differences between the way GA and TN handle their road signs. First of all, GA posts a lot more signs than TN does, especially in rural areas.
Second of all, on the interstates, you will see those signs that say something like This lane exit only. In TN they don’t always mean that. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that sign still stayed right where I was w/o taking the exit. But let me tell you: in Atlanta GA, if they say this lane exits, you will exit with it. There are no options. And from experience I can tell you that some of those “must exit” lanes will make you take a wrong turn.
Saul’s life has been stuck in this exit only lane for awhile. He has made some serious wrong turns in his life, mainly whenever he chose to disobey God’s commands. Now he’s running out of options. Samuel, God’s prophet has died. He cannot go back to the man who anointed him as king for advice or help. Saul has expelled all the mediums and spiritists- people who try to contact the dead through ceremonies and séances. V. 6 reminds us that God’s not speaking to Saul anymore through any of the usual means. To top it all off, Israel’s old enemy the Philistines have decided to mount an attack. Saul is a king who needs somebody to let him know what he needs to do, but he has burned too many bridges behind him. He is stuck between a rock and a hard place. To Saul, it looks like taking a wrong turn is his only option.