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Desperate Times and Godly Measures

Scripture: 1 Samuel 28:3-25

I. Desperate times call you to seek God.  

A. “When Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him” (vs. 6). Saul had turned his back on God’s prophets and God’s priests. Saul had disobeyed God regularly. If you don’t listen to God, God will not listen to you. If you despise God’s Word, He will take it from you. When Saul realized that God was not responding to him, he got desperate. He needed God. But he sought a medium. Seeking a medium was a capital offense in Israel (Deut. 20:6).

B. Saul says some of the saddest words in the whole Bible in vs. 15. Saul is facing the crisis of his life, and God has nothing to say to him. Absolutely nothing. How hopeless is Saul to be abandoned by God! And how hopeless are we when God is absent from us. So, what should Saul have done at this moment? And what should we do? Saul should have desperately sought God as should we. But what was Saul seeking? Guidance. He wanted guidance and not God.

II. Desperate times call you to obey God.

A. Samuel puts his finger on why Saul was in such desperate times in vs. 17-18. Saul was in the habit of not obeying God. He did not obey God when God commanded in 1 Sam. 15 that Saul destroy the Amalekites. And he was disobedient to God now in seeking guidance from a medium. Disobedience leads to judgment. Samuel tells Saul in vs. 19 that Saul and his sons will die tomorrow in battle against the Philistines because of Saul’s disobedience.

B. There is a wonderful question that Saul should have considered that the prophet Isaiah asks in Isaiah 8:19: And when they say to you, ‘Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?” When in desperation, don’t continue in disobedience if you have disobeyed. Repent. Turn from your sin and obey God.

III. Desperate times call you to remember that there is a light that shines in the darkness.

A. The chapter closes with words of complete despair and hopelessness. Verse 25 says, “Then (Saul and his servants) rose and went away that night.” There is another story in the Bible of a meal ending and people walking out into the night. John 13:30: “So after receiving the morsel of bread, (Judas) immediately went out. And it was night.” Jesus was betrayed and died on the cross, abandoned even by God. But there is light in the story of Jesus’ death. Jesus has come back from the dead with a word of reassurance for us.

In desperate times, seek God and obey God and look for the light.

The book of 1 Samuel
Commentaries on 1 Samuel by Dale Ralph Davis, Robert Bergen, and Tim Chester.

Sermon Discussion Questions

  1. Are you ever tempted to seek God’s gifts more than seeking God Himself? What will you gain if you are seeking God above all else?
  2. When we disobey God, what do we need to do? What does repentance mean and what does it look like? Can you think of times when you have ignored God and then complained that God is ignoring you?
  3. Why should we as Christians always expect light in the darkness? Where can we find that light?