13So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14instead of asking the Lord for guidance. So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.1 Chronicles 10:13-14
5When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear. 6He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots28:6 Hebrew by Urim. or by the prophets. 7Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.”1 Samuel 28:5-7
For some reason, I have just glossed over Saul consulting a medium when I have read through this part of the Bible. Interestingly enough, Saul had decreed the no one was allowed to consult mediums earlier in his reign. Literally, this decree is documented just a few verses up in 1 Samuel 18.
So, what would drive a man to do the thing he deemed no one under his charge could do? I am going to speculate here, as I don’t know what drove Saul to do this. My opinion is that he felt a tremendous amount of pressure as a leader. He was facing overwhelming odds with the Philistine army in front of him and he was absolutely panicked since God wouldn’t give him any advice. He was desperate for an answer – any answer, from anywhere.
He had drifted away from God, and likely deep down he knew it. He was likely trying to use God as a “genie” and saying “Just help me God! Give me an answer to my prayer!” I think that this is a danger we all face, especially those of us in leadership positions as the consequences can be worse. Sometimes, our motives are completely wrong, or we have drifted so far away that God chooses to remain silent because our motives aren’t sincere. This is likely where Saul was – his motives weren’t at all sincere.
There have been numerous times over the last 5 years where I didn’t know if my business, Industrial Insight, was going to make it. There certainly have been temptations to do things on my own and not consult God. Honestly, there have been a few times where I took an action and THEN asked God to bless it, but that is another story. However, I couldn’t imagine driving down SR16 5 miles from our house to a house that advertises psychic services (I rarely see cars there, so I wonder how many people go to actually see this person). I haven’t been tempted to consult my horoscope or some astrological prediction, either. I was big into astrology before I became a Christian and literally didn’t even do so much as read a horoscope after that, so that could have become a temptation for me I guess.
There have been times where God was silent with me, often for just a time, but He has always answered my prayers, even if it wasn’t what I was praying for nor in the time I was asking for. There were times that doors closed on me/us and I am convinced God was simply protecting me/us. There were times I heard “no” or “not yet” but I am not sure I ever got to such a panicked state that I wouldn’t/couldn’t wait on an answer.
So again, I go back to what drives a man, who was once a man of God, to compromise so much? I am not sure, but the lesson here is that even when I am facing what I believe are dire circumstances, that I should trust God, even if he is silent and I can’t hear Him. Maybe I am the impediment to our relationship, or maybe He is is just choosing to be silent for a reason I have yet to understand. We have to be careful to not compromise, just because we are facing tremendous pressure. It is in those moments of trust in silence that likely galvanize our relationship with God and our faith in Him.
Dear Lord, help to stay steadfast to Your will in these crazy times. Let me never compromise my trust in you and search out people and things that could lead me away from Your will. In Jesus’s mighty name, Amen.