Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saul and the Medium at Endor- 1 Samuel 28:3-25- by Mary Cory

This week we study the amazing story of Saul and the Medium at Endor. We see what happens to Saul when God's will is known but not followed.

Saul has been directed by God through Samuel. Time after time, Saul has let God down by not obeying His voice. Saul has not been the most dependable person in completing God's will. He has often left the job partially finished. How often have we done the same? We think we've done SOME of what we should do-- that's good enough.

With no one to turn to and an attack by the Philistines imminent, Saul visits a medium even though he knows he should “not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists” (Lev. 19:31). He asks that she call up Samuel from the grave so he can tell Saul what to do. Samuel's answer is simple: the Lord has turned away from you because you did not obey his voice. Saul and his sons will be killed in battle the next day.

God gave Saul so many opportunities to do His will but Saul always fell short. He tried to explain away his disobedience, but God knew his heart and knew he was only sorry because he had been caught. Have you confessed from your heart and not just because you have been caught? God gives us every opportunity for a fresh start. He is always there wanting us to complete His directives and follow His path for us.

Our Stepping Stones bible study is a wonderful way to discern God's path for us individually and as a church.


  1. What I find fascinating about this passage is how the medium is also affected in this story. I think she is scared of her role - not just because of the law, but because of the truth presented in the communication with Samuel. Yes, Saul confesses. Yes, Saul is doing so because he is forced to. Yes, Saul has to eat some humble pie! But the medium - who could have easily been bitter and reluctant to help - shows mercy to Saul. She is changed by this experience. She is empowered to see that no matter who you are (king, servant, or witch) God's directives are final. God's word is true. For everyone.

    For me, I often wonder what I am doing: listening for God's voice or trying to find what I want to hear? For me, the truth is in wholly listening and then having the faith to follow.

  2. I think about Charles Dickens graphic metaphor in "A Christmas Carol",

    "This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."

    Put your best foot forward.
    What are you good at, what are your strengths? The presbyterian and Congregational faith communities have a long history of promoting the value of education, effort and prudence.

    Our local community has many living in ignorance of this wisdom, lives that could be glorfied but for lack of wisdom, education is good, you only succeed if you make the effort, waiting to satisfy a want can be good, is this a need or is this a desire?

    What are we not doing that God requires, like Saul, what enemy are we letting live in our land?

    Perhaps God would have us serve our community by addressing ignorance.

    Who else but us can teach the protestant work ethic? Can teach the value of education and effort?

    God may indeed deal with us in the fashion he dealt with Saul if we do not witness to our community these simple basic wisdoms.

  3. Another interesting passage this week! Again it is one that I am not too familiar. I know about Saul and David and the Philistines but not so much about the encounter with the medium. I find it interesting that when God doesn't answer Saul he falls back into old and familiar ways. He seeks a medium even though he had expelled them earlier. How often do we fall back into old ways when we feel God isn't there for us.

  4. May we find time today, while enjoying family bar-b-que and enjoying our blessed lives, to pray for our church leadership and seek God's direction.

    For my part I'm pretty stuck reciting a list of "what do we know about life and God's leading after 50/90 years of life"

    I do think our congregation has a gift greater than $$$, a value of family and lifestyle that unfortunately is a lot more unique in our community than it used to be. There are other experiences than our mainstream ones tho' and we should be open to hear God in all voices.

    Imagine a Bible sanctioned medium bringing someone's spirit back from sheol to advise and admonish and prophecy!!


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