’fran (t) ik
1 Samuel 28:4-5 NLT
“The Philistines set up their camp at Shunem, and Saul gathered all the army of Israel and camped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear.”
The stage is set for all out war, once again these familiar enemies encamp against each other; King Achish and the Philistines on one side and King Saul and Israel on the other.
But something is different, something changed. There is a sense of confidence on the Philistine front that wasn’t there since Goliath, the champion from Gath, had hurled insults towards the Armies of God for 40 days and nights so long ago. There was a palatable air of sureness coming from the other side that Saul hadn’t felt in years. A slow tremor begins to run from Saul’s fingertips all the way up his arm. His voice is shaking, as well as his heart. He is stricken in fear. Fear has overtaken him. He wonders if his trusted advisors can tell… surely they can see that this once confident man who stood head and shoulders over Israel was reduced to a frantic mess. Saul was in deep trouble.
Are you wondering what happened? What has changed in one chapter? One minute King Saul is chasing David all over the territory with 3000 of Israel’s Special Forces, and the next minute King Saul is frantic with fear!
Here is what I see…
1. David took himself out of the equation.
Proverbs 26:20 says, where there is no wood the fire goes out.
With David out of the picture, Saul now has to deal with the fact that he has been neglecting his duty as King and leader of God’s people/nation.
Who knows, perhaps with all his focus and attention on killing David, other areas were not being taken care of. He was hell-bent on one thing alone and that was David.
But David in the last chapter removed himself from Israelite territory, and Saul mistakenly took David’s absence as a sense of security.
Ask yourself… In what area(s) do I need to remove myself from the equation?
To what person or group of people is my presence a fuel to the fire?
How does my absence affect the outcome?
2. The Prophet Samuel died.
The spiritual leader is dead, and the one who could sooth Saul (David) is nowhere to be found.
King Saul has come to the harsh realization that God has also removed himself from him.
Now he is truly alone!
Imagine calling out to God and hearing NOTHING! Not a comforting whisper that says, “Son, I’m right here.” Not even the reassuring feeling of your conscience that lets you know, “you got this!”…nothing! Absolute silence!
The silence is deafening to Saul! And he is scared out of his wits. He is frantic with fear. He either has never felt this alone in his life, or at the very least, has never felt so alone in a very long time.
Looking across the battlefield and seeing the enemy, has him in a panic.
Before, as long as David or Samuel or the prophets were around, they had the words that brought assurance and comfort.
Saul didn’t have much of a relationship with God, God was an afterthought since he knew how much God loved His people Israel and figured he could do as he pleased and God would swoop in and save the day.
But there comes a time when even God says… ENOUGH!!!
Friend, perhaps you have been crossing lines you shouldn’t cross, venturing just far enough to always come back when in a pinch. Eventually there will come a time when you too will call out and it will be eternally too late.
King Saul got to that point in his life.
1 Samuel 28:6 says, “He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots or by the prophets.
And when God refuses to answer, he consults a witch to summon the spirit of Samuel and this is what that spirit says to him…
Verse 16 …the Lord has left you and has become your enemy. The Lord has done just as he said he would. He has torn the kingdom from you and given it to your rival, David.” NLT
Two things we can take away from this story.
A. There is a God timing to a God calling, and you are just going to have to wait like David sometimes. It most likely won’t be easy, but it is worth the wait so WAIT!
B. God is long suffering and abiding in love, but he doesn’t reward rebellion and pride. If that’s you, repent and humble yourself.
I know, like Saul, I have been prideful and rebellious. I repent of that wickedness right now in the name of Jesus. Forgive me for the times I have done things my own way, when I have neglected godly counsel and common sense. Thank you for watching over me even when I have strayed from the path and crossed lines I shouldn’t have crossed. Enable me to listen to correction, heed your instructions, and press forward towards things that are righteous. I never want to be in a place in my life when you don’t respond to my cries for help, because you have turned me over to my evil desires. Thank you for your Word, may it accomplish what you purpose for it to accomplish in my life. Father God, for the times when I’m like David, inpatient or frustrated, help me to develop a trust, and a confidence knowing that your calling and anointing is sure. Enable me to learn to wait on your timing and not to force my agenda and plan. Help me to remove myself from people, places and programs that are not part of your plan and purpose for my life. Amen