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Day 118 – King Saul Despairs


Thoughts and Reflection

Today in the readings we see that Saul is feeling abandoned by God in his battle against the Philistines. He turns to something else since God is silent. Saul consults with a medium in Endor to contact the spirit of the prophet Samuel. This is forbidden in the law of Moses and the church.

Divination is superstitious and a waste of time and moreover it is spiritually dangerous. When we dive into the spiritual world, not all spirits are good. We can connect to spirits other than God himself and that can open us up to other influences. Rather we need to have faith that God will take care of us and not fear the future.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

1 Samuel 27

1 ‘One of these days,’ David thought, ‘I shall perish at the hand of Saul. The best thing that I can do is to get away into the country of the Philistines; then Saul will give up tracking me through the length and breadth of Israel and I shall be safe from him.’

2 So David set off and went over, he and his six hundred men, to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath.

3 He settled at Gath with Achish, he and his men, each with his family and David with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel.

4 When news reached Saul that David had fled to Gath, he stopped searching for him.

5 David said to Achish, ‘If I have won your favour, let me be given a place in one of the outlying towns, where I can live. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?’

6 That very day Achish gave him Ziklag; and this is why Ziklag has been the property of the kings of Judah to the present day.

7 The time that David stayed in Philistine territory amounted to a year and four months.

8 David and his men went out on raids against the Geshurites, Girzites and Amalekites, for these are the tribes inhabiting the region which, from Telam, goes in the direction of Shur, as far as Egypt.

9 David laid the countryside waste and left neither man nor woman alive; he carried off the sheep and cattle, the donkeys, camels and clothing, and then came back again to Achish.

10 Achish would ask, ‘Where did you go raiding today?’ David would reply, ‘Against the Negeb of Judah,’ or ‘the Negeb of Jerahmeel,’ or ‘the Negeb of the Kenites.’

11 David spared neither man nor woman to bring back alive to Gath, ‘in case’, as he thought, ‘they inform on us and say, “David did such and such.” ‘ This was the way David conducted his raids all the time he stayed in Philistine territory.

12 Achish trusted David. ‘He has made himself detested by his own people Israel,’ he thought, ‘and so will be my servant for ever.’

1 Samuel 28

1 It then happened that the Philistines mustered their forces for war, to fight Israel, and Achish said to David, ‘It is understood that you and your men go into battle with me.’

2 David said to Achish, ‘In that case, you will soon see what your servant can do.’ Achish replied to David, ‘Right, I shall appoint you as my permanent bodyguard.’

3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned him and buried him at Ramah, his own town. Saul had expelled the necromancers and wizards from the country.

4 Meanwhile the Philistines had mustered and had come and pitched camp at Shunem. Saul mustered all Israel and they encamped at Gilboa.

5 When Saul saw the Philistine camp, he was afraid and his heart trembled violently.

6 Saul consulted Yahweh, but Yahweh gave him no answer, either by dream, divination or prophet.

7 Saul then said to his servants, ‘Find a necromancer for me, so that I can go and consult her.’ His servants replied, ‘There is a necromancer at En-Dor.’

8 And so Saul, disguising himself and changing his clothes, set out accompanied by two men; their visit to the woman took place at night. ‘Disclose the future to me’, he said, ‘by means of a ghost. Conjure up the one I shall name to you.’

9 The woman replied, ‘Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has outlawed necromancers and wizards from the country; why are you setting a trap for my life, then, to have me killed?’

10 But Saul swore to her by Yahweh, ‘As Yahweh lives,’ he said, ‘no blame shall attach to you for this business.’

11 The woman asked, ‘Whom shall I conjure up for you?’ He replied, ‘Conjure up Samuel.’

12 The woman then saw Samuel and, giving a great cry, she said to Saul, ‘Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!’

13 The king said, ‘Do not be afraid! What do you see?’ The woman replied to Saul, ‘I see a ghost rising from the earth.’

14 ‘What is he like?’ he asked. She replied, ‘It is an old man coming up; he is wrapped in a cloak.’ Saul then knew that it was Samuel and, bowing to the ground, prostrated himself.

15 Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed my rest by conjuring me up?’ Saul replied, ‘I am in great distress; the Philistines are waging war on me, and God has abandoned me and no longer answers me either by prophet or by dream; and so I have summoned you to tell me what I ought to do.’ 

16 Samuel said, ‘Why consult me, when Yahweh has abandoned you and has become your enemy?

17 Yahweh has treated you as he foretold through me; he has snatched the sovereignty from your hand and given it to your neighbour, David,

18 because you disobeyed Yahweh’s voice and did not execute his fierce anger against Amalek. That is why Yahweh is treating you like this today.

19 What is more, Yahweh will deliver Israel and you too, into the power of the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me; and Yahweh will hand over the army of Israel into the power of the Philistines.’

20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground. He was terrified by what Samuel had said and was also weak from having eaten nothing all that day and night.

21 The woman went to Saul and, seeing his terror, said, ‘Look, your servant has obeyed your order; I have taken my life in my hands and obeyed the command which you gave me.

22 Now please, you in your turn listen to what your servant has to say. Let me offer you a piece of bread. Eat something and get some strength for your journey.’

23 But he refused. ‘I will not eat,’ he said. His servants however pressed him, and so did the woman. Allowing himself to be persuaded by them, he got up from the ground and sat on the bed.

24 The woman owned a fattened calf which she quickly slaughtered, and she took some flour and kneaded it and with it baked some unleavened cakes

25 which she served to Saul and his servants; they ate, and then set off and left the same night.

Psalm 34

1 [Of David, when he had feigned insanity before Abimelech, and Abimelech sent him away] I will bless Yahweh at all times, his praise continually on my lips.

2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and rejoice.

3 Proclaim with me the greatness of Yahweh, let us acclaim his name together.

4 I seek Yahweh and he answers me, frees me from all my fears.

5 Fix your gaze on Yahweh and your face will grow bright, you will never hang your head in shame.

6 A pauper calls out and Yahweh hears, saves him from all his troubles.

7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear him, and rescues them.

8 Taste and see that Yahweh is good. How blessed are those who take refuge in him.

9 Fear Yahweh, you his holy ones; those who fear him lack for nothing.

10 Young lions may go needy and hungry, but those who seek Yahweh lack nothing good.

11 Come, my children, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of Yahweh.

12 Who among you delights in life, longs for time to enjoy prosperity?

13 Guard your tongue from evil, your lips from any breath of deceit.

14 Turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of Yahweh are on the upright, his ear turned to their cry.

16 But Yahweh’s face is set against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

17 They cry in anguish and Yahweh hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.

18 Yahweh is near to the broken-hearted, he helps those whose spirit is crushed.

19 Though hardships without number beset the upright, Yahweh brings rescue from them all.

20 Yahweh takes care of all their bones, not one of them will be broken.

21 But to the wicked evil brings death, those who hate the upright will pay the penalty.

22 Yahweh ransoms the lives of those who serve him, and there will be no penalty for those who take refuge in him.


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