The Last Straw

“Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord … tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.” 1 Samuel 28:18, 19

These are some of the words of Samuel to King Saul when Saul visited the medium at En Dor. This was expressly against the will and word of the Lord and Saul knew it. He himself had made a law that all mediums should be put to death. It is just one more occasion where Saul shows his lack of comprehension and understanding concerning the Person of the Lord. It is also “the last straw.”

Until now Saul had been told that the kingdom would be torn from him and given to David, not his son Jonathan. Saul’s pursuit of David to kill him was his attempt at preventing the Word of the Lord being fulfilled. This was the same motivation for Satan seeking the Lord Jesus’ death. In both cases their attempts backfired.

This pronouncement by Samuel to Saul that he and all his sons would die in battle the next day because he failed in his responsibilities as Israel’s king to obey the Lord was crushing to his heart. But did he confess his sin and repent? No way. He was a proud man and still stood in defiance even though a timeframe had now been placed for his final disgrace and death.

Saul’s sorrow was not that he had sinned against the Lord but because he had been found out and that the consequences were devastating. We observe this often today. A person commits a crime and when convicted awaiting sentence they profess sorrow at having done the crime. That is too late and is most likely not sorrow for the crime; it is sorrow for having been caught and having to do the time. Genuine sorrow would have been expressed before guilt was established.

At the Great White Throne when Jesus judges all unbelievers they will be like Saul. Sorry for having been caught out and having to do the time (eternity) but unrepentant and still in defiance of the Lord.

Obedience to the Lord comes from knowing Him intimately and therefore trusting His wisdom and Word. Like King David, we will then readily agree with the Lord about our sin and let Him forgive and cleanse us.

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