Posts Tagged ‘prophet Samuel’

The 2016 elections have become a media circus of insults, lies, and mudslinging that the modern world has not seen before. According to politifact.com, not one of the leading candidates have been completely honest.

Donald Trump has taken many political pundits by surprise and has left the Republican Party scratching its head and wondering why he is leading the pack. Others are wondering how someone who is under a federal probe can still be so popular with Democratic voters. Some have even stated that this year’s elections could mean the destruction of our political process and the end of our constitutional freedoms.

So how did this happen?

When the Israelites wanted a king like other nations had, they were rejecting their unique, set-apart position as God’s people. The nation whose God was to be the Lord alone was envious of the nations who followed false gods. (1 Samuel 8:4)

The prophet Samuel answered the people and said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men[a] and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:11-18)

But the people no longer wanted to be ruled by God and they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” (v. 19-20) And God’s people suffered great calamities for years afterward because of their decision.

It should be no surprise then, I suppose, that the powers of government have always been expanded under this same faulty way of thinking. Think of almost anything now provided by government today, (which is almost everything) and you will quickly realize that it could easily have been provided without government intervention!

God warned the Israelites that being ruled by a man would be costly both in goods and in freedom. Government is a very expensive item: you must pay for the bureaucrats who are always very wasteful, and you must give up the freedom to make your own choices, which is also very wasteful of human initiative and talent. God also pointed out that there is a point of no return on having government rule rather than God. There will come a time, God says in vs. 18, “when you will cry out for relief from the king whom you have chosen for yourselves. But the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

This is happening now! 

But it wasn’t always this way. A tiny band of religious outcasts who founded this country hit upon a formula for success that went way beyond what they could have imagined and established a nation that became the best example of civil, economic and religious liberty that the world has ever known.

Although not all the signers of the Constitution, the Declaration Of Independence and the Bill of Rights may have been Christians, they were wise enough to follow the example of those religious outcasts and use God’s rules as a blueprint for true freedom and liberty.

Sadly, it took less than 100 years for corruption to creep into our government of and by the people. Today we no longer want to be ruled by God, but like Israel of old we say,  “No! Let there be a government rule over us, that we may be like all other nations, and that our government leaders may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

So how can we apply these same foundational truths that brought our founding fathers liberty and freedom today? By turning from our wicked ways and turn back to God with a truly repentant heart; and realize that it is God alone who judges. And it is He who decides who will rise and who will fall. (Psalm 75:7; Daniel 2:21;1 Samuel 2:7)

I only pray that it’s not too late.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.…”But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’” (2 Chronicles 7: 13-22)

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“When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isaiah 8:19)

Some argue that 1 Samuel 28 is proof that there was an occasion where God allowed a medium to contact the dead for a word from God and thereby contradicting God’s own law.

A wicked King Saul finds that he is no longer hearing from God. So he, who had earlier killed many of the mediums and spiritists, contacts the witch at Endor and asks her to raise the recently deceased prophet Samuel from the dead. But the witch, fearing that this is a trap by Saul, at first refuses. But Saul swears an oath to the Lord that she will not be harmed. She succeeds in raising the dead prophet and shrieks when the spirit of Samuel actually appears and begins speaking to her. Samuel expresses annoyance at being disturbed and reiterates his own prophetic announcements that Saul has been rejected and that the kingdom has been transferred to David, as far as God is concerned.

It is important that to note that the king never saw or heard the prophet Samuel himself, but relied upon the witch to translate to him what she saw and heard:
The king said to her, “What do you see?” The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.” “What does he look like?” he asked. “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. (1Sam 28:13-14)

The rest of 1 Samuel 28 is actually the conversation between the witch and Saul as the witch translated; not directly between Samuel and Saul. Similar to how mediums today speak to the dead on behalf of their living loved ones.
It’s true that God allowed the witch of Endor to communicate with Samuel. However, this is not an indication of God’s approval of occultism. Rather, it was permitted by God as part of the process of pronouncing judgment against Saul and stripping him of his rule.Saul receives no words of comfort and no blessing. Within a very short while he will be dead on Mt. Gilboa and David will be king.Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance instead of the Lord. And he paid for his mistake with his life. (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)

Other supporters of spiritism cite Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16, which portrays a conversation between two people in the afterlife-Abraham in glory and the Rich Man in hades, as proof that conversations with the dead are sanctioned by God. But the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man is just that-A PARABLE! When the Rich Man pleads that Abraham allow Lazarus to go back among the living and warn his brothers, Abraham refuses because… ”They have Moses and the prophets…let them listen to them.”

Now, even knowing the truth from the Scriptures warning us not to have anything to do with mediums or speaking to the dead, some may still wonder how something that gives people hope and sets their hearts and minds at peace could be harmful.

Because it gives people a false peace and a false hope: A false peace that their loved one, (who may or may not be saved) is in a better place. Similarly, it will also give false hope that regardless of how they live; they too will end up in a better place when they die.

If our loved ones constantly watch over us from heaven when they die, then can they also see the sins and short-comings of those they love on earth? Will they have to helplessly watch as their relatives are beaten, shot and raped? Will they have to watch them die without Jesus? How can they enjoy their eternity while they witness such things?

I know this may upset some people reading this, but other than Elijah and Enoch, the Bible does not even hint that there is anyone else living in heaven except God, Jesus and the angels. Every description of heaven seems to focus only on God and his throne.

It is only natural that we, with our earthbound self-centered perspective, would prefer to comfort ourselves by believing that we can still communicate with loved ones who have since passed away. My own son was killed in an auto accident nearly 18 years ago. I too would love to be able to talk with him and share with him all that God has done for me since he died; but that is impossible; because my son is dead and I won’t see him again until the Resurrection. You see, as a Bible believing Christian, I have God’s promise that one day I will be reunited with my son again!

“But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise– let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy– your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.” (Isaiah 26:19)

“Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.” (Ezekiel 37:12)

“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)

And anyone who has surrendered their lives to Jesus has these same promises from God.

Whether we are alive or dead at the Resurrection, the time we spend waiting for that Day will seem like but a moment compared to eternity!

So if you haven’t already done so, repent of your sins and ask God to forgive you and surrender your life to Him. Please do it now!

While there’s still time:

“It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.” (1Cor. 15:52)