September 1, 2015 I Samuel 28-31 (19)

This was the story of David taking over from Saul and Saul’s death. Discussion about mediums and the witch of Endor. By divine law, mediums and spirituals were banned from Israel in Deuteronomy 18:11 and were not to be defiled by them (Leviticus 19:31). So when Saul brings this to a medium, he indicated he was very distressed to go against this long established principle of God, one more indication of how far Saul had departed from God. The story surprisingly the power of the witch of Endor as when Saul asks her to find Samuel and bring him back from the dead, she does just that. And Samuel then tells Saul there is no hope for him and that he is doomed to die either by the Philistines or himself the next day.  I guess this is an indication of the writers’ belief in mediums or spirituals.  The web site Samuel, Saul and the Witch of Endor states essentially that the author says that “Satan would like nothing more than for people to dabble in the occult world of spiritism and necromancy. God’s commandments regarding these things are designed to protect us from the schemes of our enemy, the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).”

What validates God’s presence in our lives. It brings up the discussion of where Is God. Maybe we aren’t pleased with the response. What is the covenant? It is not a contract like we may want it to be. Can we think about how good and bad both happen as part of our lives. God works in mysterious ways. Did Luther say there is no free will, we are bound by sin. The spirit comes to us to strive towards God. We don’t find God, He finds us. It isn’t an absent God but a god we keep striving after. No matter what happens it is what God is willing for us. Saul’s death is one of 4 suicides in the Bible.  What is God’s plan as presented in this story.

Here are some Bible dictionaries’ definitions of Ziklag. Ziklag Definitions There is an interesting reference at the following website: http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/articles/ziklag-the-test-of-kings/   The author, Chip Brogden, makes the point that David makes the point that this story in I Samuel 30 is one of the most severe tests thus far  in David’s life. The Amalekites had invaded the south and burned Ziklag and taken all the women captives including David’s wives  Abigall and Ahinoam. David and all his 600 men were extremely distressed at this disastrous turn of events. The men were so angry that they threatened to take it out on David and stone him. but how did David respond? David asked Abiathar the priest to bring him the ephod and David inquired of the Lord as to whether he should pursue the Amalekites. The Lord answered that he would surely overtake them. David immediately set off and with the help of a defector from the Amalekites found them and destroyed them all slave 400 young men who escaped on camels. David rescued all the women and children who had been  taken.  We had a little discussion about the fact that there had been 200 of the 600 men who were not able to go with to kill the Amalekites and yet David gave them of the spoils of the battle as well. The men were grumbling about it, and David said “What the Lord has given us, we will share with those who stayed behind with the baggage. And furthermore, he made it a rule of Israel from that day on to share the spoils of war with the support folks. Maybe this is like Jesus and his story of the 3 laborers who showed up at different times of the day at the vineyard and nevertheless received the same pay.  Would it be inconvenient if Jesus walked into the room and talked with us. Don’t diminish the spirit that appears to us.

We will do Colossians next with a reading from Psalms as our beginning.

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