1 Samuel 16: MSG
14 At that very moment the Spirit of GOD left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by GOD settled on him. He was terrified.
15 Saul’s advisors said, “This awful tormenting depression from God is making your life miserable.
16 O master, let us help. Let us look for someone who can play the harp. When the black mood from God moves in, he’ll play his music and you’ll feel better.”
17 Saul told his servants, “Go ahead. Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.”
18 One of the young men spoke up, “I know someone. I’ve seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He’s also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And GOD is with him.”
19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, “Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep.”
20 Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul.
21 David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man.
22 Saul sent word back to Jesse: “Thank you. David will stay here. He’s just the one I was looking for. I’m very impressed by him.”
23 After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.
1 Samuel 28: MSG
1 During this time the Philistines mustered their troops to make war on Israel. Achish said to David, “You can count on this: You’re marching with my troops, you and your men.”
2 And David said, “Good! Now you’ll see for yourself what I can do!” “Great!” said Achish. “I’m making you my personal bodyguard—for life!”
3 Samuel was now dead. All Israel had mourned his death and buried him in Ramah, his hometown. Saul had long since cleaned out all those who held seances with the dead.
4 The Philistines had mustered their troops and camped at Shunem. Saul had assembled all Israel and camped at Gilboa.
5 But when Saul saw the Philistine troops, he shook in his boots, scared to death.
6 Saul prayed to GOD, but GOD didn’t answer—neither by dream nor by sign nor by prophet.
7 So Saul ordered his officials, “Find me someone who can call up spirits so I may go and seek counsel from those spirits.” His servants said, “There’s a witch at Endor.”
8 Saul disguised himself by putting on different clothes. Then, taking two men with him, he went under the cover of night to the woman and said, “I want you to consult a ghost for me. Call up the person I name.”
9 The woman said, “Just hold on now! You know what Saul did, how he swept the country clean of mediums. Why are you trying to trap me and get me killed?”
10 Saul swore solemnly, “As GOD lives, you won’t get in any trouble for this.”
11 The woman said, “So whom do you want me to bring up?” “Samuel. Bring me Samuel.”
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly to Saul, “Why did you lie to me? You’re Saul!”
13 The king told her, “You have nothing to fear . . . but what do you see?” “I see a spirit ascending from the underground.”
14 “And what does he look like?” Saul asked. “An old man ascending, robed like a priest.” Saul knew it was Samuel. He fell down, face to the ground, and worshiped.
15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by calling me up?” “Because I’m in deep trouble,” said Saul. “The Philistines are making war against me and God has deserted me—he doesn’t answer me any more, either by prophet or by dream. And so I’m calling on you to tell me what to do.”
16 “Why ask me?” said Samuel. “GOD has turned away from you and is now on the side of your neighbor.
17 GOD has done exactly what he told you through me—ripped the kingdom right out of your hands and given it to your neighbor.
18 It’s because you did not obey GOD, refused to carry out his seething judgment on Amalek, that GOD does to you what he is doing today.
19 Worse yet, GOD is turning Israel, along with you, over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. And, yes, indeed, GOD is giving Israel’s army up to the Philistines.”
20 Saul dropped to the ground, felled like a tree, terrified by Samuel’s words. There wasn’t an ounce of strength left in him—he’d eaten nothing all day and all night.
21 The woman, realizing that he was in deep shock, said to him, “Listen to me. I did what you asked me to do, put my life in your hands in doing it, carried out your instructions to the letter.
22 It’s your turn to do what I tell you: Let me give you some food. Eat it. It will give you strength so you can get on your way.”
23 He refused. “I’m not eating anything.” But when his servants joined the woman in urging him, he gave in to their pleas, picked himself up off the ground, and sat on the bed.
24 The woman moved swiftly. She butchered a grain-fed calf she had, and took some flour, kneaded it, and baked some flat bread.
25 Then she served it all up for Saul and his servants. After dining handsomely, they got up from the table and were on their way that same night.
Over the past several years it feels like the world has stepped through the looking glass. Everything is topsy-turvy. Black is called white, wrong is right, so on and so forth. Nothing seems to make much sense in this world.
Everything that our mothers taught us not to become is now the “cool” thing to be. Respect and civility to others is now frowned upon by the leaders of our countries. Upheaval seems to be the agenda of the day.
The moral fabric of our nations seems to be unravelling in front of our very eyes. Living peaceably with all people has been thrown out with the bath water.
To borrow from an old sixties movie, ‘it’s a mad mad world’! People running to and fro looking for a quick fix in some philosophy or incantation only to find themselves out of strength and no more the better in the end of their search.
I cannot think of one leader in the church or the world that I would want my grand-children to emulate. That is a sad thing to say, but, I feel that is exactly how things are at this moment in time.
Preachers and teachers it seems have thrown out the very fibre of the Gospel and given in to doctrines of devils in their pulpit.
Church congregations if you didn’t see the name above the door you would believe you have walked in on a rock concert or some ‘positive thinking’ seminar.
The Gospel of laying up our treasures in heaven has been cast by the way side and in it’s place a gospel of get all you can while you are living on earth.
Matthew 6: MSG
20 Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars.
James 5:1-6 MSG
1 And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You’ll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you.
2 Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink.
3 Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you’ve piled up is judgment.
4 All the workers you’ve exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger.
5 You’ve looted the earth and lived it up. But all you’ll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse.
6 In fact, what you’ve done is condemn and murder perfectly good persons, who stand there and take it.
I’m reminded of a story about a man who was looking for a new chauffeur. Many showed up to apply for the job. So each man was taken to the car where the man who was hiring would ask them to go on this mountainous road. The interviewer would ask each applicant to try and get as close to the edge as possible.
The first came within about ten feet, the next about five feet and so on until one came within several inches of the cliff. Finally, the last man sat behind the wheel and was told like the previous before him to get as close to the edge of the cliff. Instead this man turned the wheel in the opposite direction and steered the car as far as possible from the cliff. Who do you feel was hired for the job? You would be correct if you chose the last man.
Too many ministries and congregations have come too close too the edge of the road. Few have made sure to steer away as far as possible from the edge.
Saul was chosen king not because it was God’s first choice. That is not what God wanted for the children of Israel. God’s way was for the children to be lead by the priests and the prophets. Israel wanted to be like all of the other nations that surrounded them, they wanted a king. God relented and gave them what they wanted but gave them spiritual dryness in their soul.
Eventually the nation of Israel looked and sounded just like all of those other nations. As you read about the life of King Saul you will find that God’s spirit was withdrawn from him and God had already picked out a new king to take Saul’s place.
When God withdrew His spirit from King Saul, Saul started on a downward spiral that led him into the depths of complete despair. Nothing could bring him out of this except when his advisors would bring the young man named David before him to play his harp. The spirit of God, the anointing, that was on David seemed to sooth Saul.
Israel was in the greatest battle of their being that eventually they would lose and be taken into captivity.
Saul knew that the army of Israel was losing and he needed an answer, a plan that might bring victory for the nation of Israel. He instructed his closest advisors to go and search out a medium, a diviner of the occult. They reminded the King that he had banned them from Israel, but Saul insisted. They found one in Endor and reported this back to Saul. This is the beginning of the end for the king of Israel.
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