November 6, 2008

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Well by Monday we'll be done with 1 Samuel and Saul. Did you enjoy reading this action packed book? In today's reading (1 Sam. 28) we see Saul in a sad and completely desperate state. He wants to hear from God, and when he doesn't, he takes things into his own hands by visiting a medium, taking part in a séance and calling up Samuel from the dead. All I can say is--wow. Kind of reminds me of what I see in the world today. So many attempting to seek God but on our own terms and in our own ways instead of the way God has laid out for us. Then, when God doesn't respond or answer or bless according to how we think He should, we're disillusioned with or mad at Him. It really boils down to us not wanting to give up control to God.

In our reading today, Saul receives bad news that he and his sons will die the next day because of his disobedience to God. So does he respond with repentance or sadness about his heart and actions? No. Verse 20 tells us he was filled with fear, but there's no indication at all that Saul was remorseful or repentant. So how could Saul have slipped so far? Well, he slipped just like any of us can and do. Typically it starts slowly, with little steps. Maybe we compromise on something small that we know isn't right but it's "just this once" or we make a "one time exception." But then before we know it we've accepted that compromise and begin adding to it little by little. At some point, we've moved a long ways down the road away from God and we aren't even tuned into it. That's dangerous.

Ok, I know the blog today is a little heavy. But I don't want us to miss how important it is to seek God and follow Him on His terms and not ours. The great thing is, no matter where you're at today, you can say, "I love you Lord and I want You in control. Help me follow and seek You completely." God loves you and has a plan for your life. If you haven't spoken with Him today, now's a great time.

Hey thanks for being part of P4. I love getting to talk with you and I especially like hearing from you. So have you blogged lately? :) Tami W.

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13 Comments

Hi! It's my first time here. I just signed up today, as of about 5 minutes ago and just read today's blog...I think! Anyway...I read the above and all I can say is---wow! This is so true and has been a real struggle for me in the past. I use to be such a control freak and thought I could control every aspect of my life, planning ahead and so forth. When things didn't go my way, naturally, I lost my mind!

Things are different now and when I find myself in a difficult situation I stop and realize that I really don't have control, God does! So I ask Him to just take control and help me to be patient and wait for Him to show me the way. I still have a long way to go in this...but since I've learned to "let go and let God" it's become easier!

Thanks! I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this! Looking forward to "Getting back to the Bible".

God Bless!

~Rod

Hi Everyone!
I hafta put my 2 cents worth in here! :-)
First, Welcome Rod! This is a great place to spend time and learn about Godly things.

Regarding control: I think I have the most peace and joy when I let go and let the Lord have His way in my life. I have come to the conclusion (even though the old nature tries really hard to kick in...DAILY) that God IS in control. This is His Universe. Even when we are out of His will, He is STILL in control. NOTHING happens to us without His consent so we might as well have the attitude that Job did, "Even though He slay me, yet will I praise Him." Chew on that one!

And this thing about Saul: I know people who profess Christianity and yet consult their daily horoscope! They see it as innocent fun!There are many Scriptures that tell us to stay clear of evil practices such as divination and soothsaying, etc., etc. Just one of the cross-references regarding this incident with Saul is in
1 Chronicles 10:13.It tells us straight-up, "So Saul died... for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it, and inquired not of the Lord..." So much can be said about God's children being so ignorant of His Word. If it grieves me...how much more does it grieve the Holy Spirit? One last thing: There's a poem by Kipling...(Google it...you won't regret it)...It's called "The Road to En-dor"
The last stanza says,
"And nothing has changed for the sorrow in store
For such as go down to the road to En-dor."
Blessings to you all. And learn what God has to say! He wrote it all down in His Book! :-)

Your comments reminded me of the new Casting Crowns song - "Slow Fade." It is truly what you say and the song confirms...it's one long glance, it's turning a compliment into a "flirt", and it's ALWAYS the ones around us who suffer the most. "When you think you stand, you just might be sinking." The battle is not yesterday's, it's the one we face today and tomorrow. Thank you for keeping us strong.

I am a type A person so when something needs done I try and figure out a way to get it done. So how do you know you are doing is what God wants? There is a joke about a drowning believer, a boat comes by and offers to save the person, and they say, "No thank you, God will save me". A second boat comes by and again the person says, "No thank you, God will save me". A third boat comes by and again the believer says, "No thank you, God will save me". The believer drowns and goes to heaven and asks God "why didn’t you save me?" and God answered, "My child, I sent you three boats". How do you know what you should be managing and what you should let God manage? I guess I don’t want to “miss the boat”.

Good morning.
I have to admit that I have not read all of Samuel this time, I had an excuse, that, I had just finish reading Samuel before, on my own. Now I was reading in Chronicles, which I found very interesting too. But I have read all of the comments everyday. I Loved them, it also came to my mind, back in Samuel. It didn't mean, that I stop reading the Bible, just so you know.

Hi Tami. I do have a prayer request for me today too. Could you please pray, that I will NOT fall in to the same footsteps as Saul did? Much rather that I will follow Jesus Footsteps? Right now, I'm on waiting for the Lord, to help me make right decissens. I'm in a very diffecult situation, and I do not want to do the wrong thing. But I do honestly feel like I'm going to explode. Why explode? Because my Husband won't allow me to talk to anybody, he has striktly forbid me. I should not even have wrote this Prayer request, according to my Husband, but this is the only way I know of, that somebody will Pray for us. And on top of that, my Husband never reads these blogs.
Thanks ahead for the Prayers, may God Bless you and keep you. Love ya all. Just so you know, that I Love the Lord Jesus.
Take care

Hi Tami:

So here’s my question. Maybe I’m the only one having a tough time wrapping my head around this. Saul went down to Endor to call up Samuel via the medium of a séance.

The Bible time and again forbids séances and communicating with spirits. So why did God allow Samuel to be called up via a séance? As I read my Bible it appears that it actually was Samuel, not an evil spirit disguised as Samuel. So why? Verse 6 says “And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets.” If God removed His Spirit from Saul and would not answer him by dreams, prophets etc why would He allow Samuel to be called up?

I had a Prof at College who time and again challenged us to “Let God be God” This may be one of those times.

Am I the only one who wonders about this?

Thanks again for the daily e-mail and the blog.

Blessings

Dawn,

Thanks for the question. I chuckled when I read your boat illustration because it really does depict how we respond many times. As far as knowing what God should manage, really, when it gets right down to it, you have to let God manage it all. Then, you operate with God's guidance and within His boundaries. Think of it like this: At your job, your boss is in charge but you are still empowered to make decisions about certain things provided they are within the bounds of your position. It's the same way with God. He's in charge of it all but He expects us to navigate our lives and that includes making wise decisions.

Now on to your "missing the boat" concern. There have been plenty of times in my life where I have missed or almost missed the boat. This is because I let myself operate under the preconceived notion that for me to know what God wants, I need Him to communicate with me via something huge or noticeable or flashy. Of course, that's not true. So I just have to remind myself often of what I just told you in the paragraph above. I have to make choices and do the best I can in doing that. Will I make mistakes? You bet. So I try again and hopefully learn from it. Tami W.


Hi Tami,

Today is my first time. I accidentally received a P4 Magazine in the mail intended for the previous dweller of my apt. and immediately had to look it up.

Thank you so much for the blog today. I have been going thru struggles and am so thankful that, thru it all, God has never left my side. I have been doubtful at times and have fallen away from Him but I am greatful to Him for not letting me go so far that I was lost from Him forever. I am thankful that He will keep us in the palms of His hands. He knows our hearts and will not let us go. He will pursue and pursue and, if our hearts are truly repentant and wanting to come back "home", He will pull us back.

I am very thankful for this new study I am about to embark on and can't wait to get into God's Word today.

Thank You!

Tami, What a wise and wonderful response to Dawn's questions! I KNEW the Lord directed me to this website! Such wonderful insights...I pray to continue to grow in the little things that make up the big picture. Bless you for allowing Him to use you.
INSURANCE GUY: You are absolutely NOT the only one who wonders. :-)We cannot know if the "witch" actually called up Samuel's spirit, because the passage is not clear. It does however as you pointed out, tell us in no uncertain terms that God was not in this(verses 6 & 15)If she actually did, then it is the only instance recorded in Scripture where anyone other than Jesus communicated with the dead. I'm pretty sure there are many interpretations regarding this passage. One is that no, Samuel was not "brought back"; this was an evil, supernatural incident and this woman was controlled by a divining demon. Notice that the information that Saul received from "Samuel" was not new at all. These are instances that we do have to let God be God and know that this is all He's giving us at this point. We have to look at Scripture as a whole though, and allow the Holy Spirit to interpret what He will for us. Now, here's another for you: We are told in Ch 31 that Saul committed suicide, yet in the first chapter of the very next book, we are told than an Amalekite killed him. It's a "Who done it??"! SOMEDAY we will know everything we wonder about now...and then there may be things our Creator will never allow us in on. :-)

Insurance Guy,

Thanks for the blog and the questions. I’d love to be able to tell you why God does what He does, but no one knows the mind of God. As I look over the passage, though, I see a gracious God, a God of second (and more) chances. He gives Saul one last test or opportunity to repent for his disobedient heart by allowing Samuel to be called back from the dead with a direct and sobering message. But sadly, Saul misses the mark yet again. Well, those are my thoughts. Again, thanks for the questions and for being part of Powered by 4. Tami W.

I just wanted to say God bless this ministry! Tami, I am so excited for this opportunity to grow closer to the Lord. Today was the first day and I am so excited.

Insurance Guy has a good question. Did God bring Samual back or did the devil? Did God use the medium to try and get the message to Saul? What was God trying to get Saul to do? Say he was sorry for not doing what God asked and kill all those people off? Did God want him to stop trying to kill David? Why would God take Saul's sons when they actually helped David? So if God cut Saul off then why did David keep saying he couldn't do Saul harm because he was the chosen one of God? How did David know that God didn't want him to kill him??

Dawn,
I guess it's okay for me to respond to your questions...this is a blog...I can only give my opinion...Hope if I'm off the mark, someone will step in to correct me. Your first question has pretty much been answered in replies above. I don't think anyone really knows. What God wanted from Saul was his obedience. We don't know why Jonathan and his brothers died too. We all die; God is in control. This was the saddest part of the story, but this was real life...it actually happened. David said that he could do no harm to Saul because Saul was God's annointed. David demonstrated his obedience to God the way God wanted Saul to. God never told David to kill Saul. David knew that Saul was the king because God had allowed him to be king. David knew God was in control and God would handle everything in His time and His way...all David had to do was have faith and trust. King David is my OT hero! I pray for faith like he had. I pray for the insight that he had about the majesty and glory of our God. I can't think of anyone else in OT history that showed how he loved God the way that David did.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on November 6, 2008 10:55 AM.

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