Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land. The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all the Israelites and set up camp at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her. There is one in Endor, they said. So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. Consult a spirit for me, he said, and bring up for me the one I name." 1 Samuel 28:3-8
Saul had done what he was supposed to do he had driven all the spiritists and mediums and witches from the land. He had made it against the law to engage in such practices, and had commanded that the death sentence be enacted against any person who dabbled in the occult. But when the going got rough, when he couldn't get a quick answer from God about what to do, Saul himself turned to the help of a witch, a woman known for her ability to communicate with the dead. Saul had made a big show of denouncing the sin of witchcraft, but he hadn't driven the sin from his heart.
You and I do the same thing. We can recite God's word ver batim, denouncing the sinful things we see in others, and yet fall right into the very sins we are denouncing. We teach our children not to lie, then have them tell callers we're not at home when we're standing right there. We denounce the movies and television for promoting all manner of sins, but we run up the Neilsen ratings by watching those very programs and fill the coffers of the movie studios with our tickets to the movies and in video rentals and our subscriptions to HBO, the Movie Channel and Cinemax. We ridicule obesity in others, and yet teach our children that they must clean their plates no matter what and use candy and cookies and cake as rewards or as a means of soothing a child's upsets. We ridicule one former President and his wife for their consultation of an astrologer, and another former First Lady for her conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt, but flip straight to our horoscope the moment we open the newspaper or we ask someone what his birthday is, not because we want to be sure to remember it, but because we want to see if his personality matches his sun sign.
If you've recognized an area of sin in yourself and have denounced it verbally, go all the way and denounce it in your heart. Otherwise, when the going gets rough, just like Saul, you'll fall right back into your old pattern. Remember, actions speak louder than words.
From Dogwood Ministries, Inc.
Be sure to visit us at www.dogwoodministries.org
Used with Permission