On being lukewarm...



Saturday, November 18, 2017


I Samuel 28:7. 7   “Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”“There is one in Endor,” they said.”

Dear Friends:

This is one of the creepiest passages in the entire bible.  It represents the desperation of a man living in open disobedience to God.  This entire chapter is about King Saul trying to find a witch so that he could find out what was going to happen when he went to battle the next day. He was afraid about the future—-and he had good reason.  He probably had a premonition that he would die in battle—and indeed he did.

Saul had already tried the tradition means of discerning God’s will at this time—-but when he threw the “urim” and “thurim” stones, he got no answers. The prophets had been driven away by him or were hiding from him, and God was silent when he prayed.  His former mentor, the prophet Samuel, was dead.  So in desperation he turned to the very ungodly thing he had outlawed—witchcraft.

Initially Saul was a good reformed and king. But he was guilty of half-measures—he soon disobeyed God and refused to prohibit some of the things that God told him were evil.  But when Samuel confronted him he made excuses and then brooded.  What a foolish response! Why not admit it, confess it, repent and set things right!  But then, why don’t I do the same!!!  Why do I find it so easy to condemn the errors of others but “understand” my errors and think that they are simply a quirky part of my personality!

Saul drifted farther and farther from God because he would not admit his faults and would not stop disobeying God; soon he was doing the very things he would have not allowed others to do just a few months earlier!   That’s the slippery sloop of disobedience. You one day find yourself doing things you never would have imagined.

If you read about Saul you will discover that his disobedience was not open defiance, nor was he worshipping of Baal or desecrating the Ark of the Covenant. No, his sin was being luke-warm in his devotion to God and obeying God when it suited him and then disobeying him when it was to his personal advantage to things “his way”.   Saul brooded, then schemed, and then made choices that caused God to cut Saul’s dynasty off from ever ruling Israel.  We’re all free to choice our actions—-but we cannot chose the consequences of poor choices.

We need to be careful of people that ignore the word of God and the warnings of God and are then faced with the consequences of their choices—they often become desperate and dangerous; similar to one drowning in a lake-if they get close to you they pull you under with them.  Jonathan was a good son, but his association with his dad led to his death as well—-and Saul’s armor bearer, etc.

Saul represents what happens when a good man—a king, chosen by God—-gets it into his head the idea that he is above God’s laws or that he cannot fall. Any one of us could end up just as tragic as Saul.



Dean Barley


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