The Way of the Transgressor
King Saul is a prime example in Scripture of someone who started well, but finished poorly. His first actions as ruler of the nation were spot on. But after his flagrant disobedience of the Lord’s command (1 Sam. 13:13) he soon spiraled down and landed in a deep pit of insanity and evil.
In 1 Samuel 28 Saul is about to do battle against the Philistines. It will prove to be his last military campaign. He will die the next day. The chapter chronicles the spiritual bankruptcy of a hardened heart.
Ruled by fear – The moment Saul sees the Philistines' war camp, he is afraid and his heart trembles (v. 5). When he’s informed that the Lord will hand over his army to the Philistines his anxiety escalates. He falls immediately full length on the ground “very afraid” and “terrified” (v. 20,21).
No lifeline – At one time Saul had a close relationship with the Lord. But at this point in his life, his sin had cut off his lifeline. “When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets” (v. 6). God didn’t listen to Saul. The only prayer God would attend to would be one of genuine repentance. It didn’t come.
Propensity to do the unthinkable – Saul is desperate. He orders his servants: “Seek for me a woman who is a medium that I may go to her and inquire of her” (v. 7). Saul knew that divination was detestable to the Lord. But his seared conscience led him to do what was inconceivable: seeking assistance from the evil one.
When our hearts become callous; when we stop feeling the piercing truth of God’s Word, we’re in for a rough ride. The way of the unrepentant transgressor is hard (Prov. 13:15).
But all the while, the Father waits. If we turn from sin to Him, we will discover His grace: undeserving but sweet and sufficient. Saul refused, may we be wiser. How much we need Him!