Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 114

Monday, April 24, 2012

Welcome to Day 114 of our Life Journal! ;

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Samuel 28, 29; Psalm 109; Matthew 11 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

1 Samuel 28, Saul consulted a medium (after he had driven all of them out from Israel…) to inquire of Samuel…

v 13 “The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?” The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.” 14 “What does he look like?” he asked. “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?””

1 Samuel 29, David offers to fight with the Philistines, but finds himself again, rejected. The Philistine army doesn’t trust him, even though he has earned King Achish’s trust, the other leaders don’t want anything to do with him…

v 4 “But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men? 5 Isn’t this the David they sang about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?””

Psalm 109, David is yet again being persecuted…

“My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, 2 for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. 3 With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. 4 In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. 5 They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.”

Matthew 11, John the Baptist is imprisoned… Jesus refers to the miracles he has done in various cities and makes an incredible statement, v 23 “For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.””

O bservation

Wow, today is LOADED with content. Not going to focus on David today… But two things require mentioning.

1. Was that really the spirit of Samuel?

There is great disagreement about this, because God strictly forbids this type of activity. (Leviticus 19:31,

“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them.

I am the LORD your God.”) While many believe this is a demonic spirit, other’s believe this could actually be the spirit of Samuel.

Some say it’s not possible for this to be Samuel, but Jesus spoke with Elijah and Moses, right? (although they weren’t “conjured up.” They simply appeared to Jesus, Peter, James and John.) So it is possible that it was Samuel.

If it was a demonic spirit impersonating Samuel, then why did the medium get so freaked out? Either she had never really had this happen before, or she knew it was a genuine appearing? Possibly she knew is was demonic and that freaked her out?

Again, many would land on it was a demonic spirit, but I think one has to be open to the possibility that this could have been the spirit of Samuel… It’s not likely, but it could be possible. Sitting here today, we can’t be 100% sure either way…

And, either way, the spirit gave accurate information to Saul as to what God had spoken to him and what was going to happen.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter if it was or was not, it was wrong to attempt it. For us today, that is the timeless principle that we need to land on. Dabbling in this type of activity, including daily horoscopes (which many people think is harmless) is not wise (defiling), at best… and sinful, at worst.

2. And what about Sodom on the day of judgment?

Just worth noting that Jesus KNEW that if he had performed these miracles in SODOM, they would have repented… What do you make of that?? That their city was destroyed by fire and brimstone and yet on the day of judgment it will be better for them than these other cities… Because these other cities had seen the genuine, they are now without excuse. That’s a pretty powerful statement Jesus made.

A pplication

Dabbling in the occult is dangerous… I had a friend, “George” in college who was into parapsychology and the occult, taking some classes at the local community college in Pittsburgh. He invited me to a home group one time…

I went.

I was probably 19 at the time? They had candles and chanted (and “prayed” for protection)… they asked me to lie down on the floor, one person at my head, one person at my feet. They all gathered around me and began to chant… with only TWO FINGERS EACH, the persons at my head and feet, lifted me to the ceiling! 

That was it, I was out of there. I knew better… but I dabbled… Not smart.

And yes, while checking your daily horoscope may seem harmless enough, it still goes against scripture and defiles you. It opens you up to other influences, other than the LORD.

Each of us is responsible for what we know. Sodom had a different amount of knowledge and experience as Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. Sodom may be better off on the day of judgment!

And in a weird twist… the Pharisees, Sadducees and teachers of the Law accused Jesus of casting out demons by Satan! (That’s where we get “a house divided against itself cannot stand” that Abe Lincoln quoted from Mark 3 and/or Luke 11.)

Such is life. Jesus did the genuine and was accused of doing it by the power of Satan…

Bottom line, Satan is real. He has (some limited) power…

James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

P rayer

Lord, I thank you that we are not unaware of the devil’s schemes… We know that he comes as an angel of light, and that he’s a roaring lion, seeking those to devour. Watch over us… and give me wisdom and discernment!

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5 thoughts on “Day 114

  1. I wanted so much to move ahead in Samuel this morning wondering what ahead for David. I am grateful that Scott clarified the “spirit” thing for me scripturally. I wondered. And the horoscope issue too. I used to play the lottery daily in my early walk with God. And win! But then one day God showed me, in His time that the lottery is like the asherah (sp?) Poles in the old testament. It was my last day playing as I did nit want to dishonor the God I am walking with or open myself up for evil. So thank you for clarifying that.
    Father thank you for our leaders and the teams you have helped create to help our congregation and others in our community. I have appreciated the encouragement and guidance.

  2. Nicole Marvin on said:

    1 Samuel 28: 6 “And so he asked the Lord what to do. But the Lord did not answer him at all, either by dreams or by the use of Urim and Thumim or by prophets.”

    1 Samuel 28:18 “You disobeyed the Lord’s command and did not completely destroy the Amalekites and all they had. That is why the Lord is doing this to you now.”

    Lately I have been thinking about why the Lord’s voice is so clear for some people. And why some people struggle to hear his voice. I had a friend ask me why God isn’t answering him, when he prays nightly for the Lord to remove two demons from him. The demons are two addictions that he has struggled with for 20+ years. So I have been trying to find scripture about hearing from God.

    This is what I have found…
    Habakkuk 2:1 wait & listen (wait and be quiet)
    1 Kings 19:12 to Elijah it was a soft whisper (be quiet-it may be a soft whisper-and if there is too much noise I won’t hear it)
    Hebrews 12:25 do not refuse to hear him who speaks (when he does speak-listen, be obedient)
    2 Kings 3:15-through worship-As the musician played, the power of the Lord fell on Elisha and he heard the Lord’s voice
    Heb. 12:2-fix my eyes on Jesus (get the focus off of me)
    Habakkuk 2:1 wait to see (look for visions, open the eyes of my heart)
    Acts 2:17 ask the Lord to pour out his spirit on me-so that I can have dreams and see visions
    John 10:3-5 we follow him because we know his voice (we have to spend time with him and allow ourselves to be under his care)

    I read that his voice is like a radio station, on 24 hours a day, but we have to be tuned in to hear his voice. He is always talking, but if we aren’t quiet, aren’t open, don’t want to hear-then we won’t. And I have to stop talking to hear him. I have to be still, be quiet and wait. That takes time, energy and effort.

    Jesus, I love you. I want to hear your voice. Open the eyes of my heart. Please help me to be quiet, to be still, to listen and obey. Give me the desires of your heart. I will look for you and wait for you.

  3. I didn’t get my thoughts down yesterday but want to weigh in on this for sure. Saul doesn’t hear from God, just like Samuel told him, so he breaks out the Ouija Board so to speak. And just when I thought he couldn’t go any lower.

    The question of whether it was actually Samuel’s spirit or demonic I think is the whole point. We don’t know, and we can open ourselves up to the unknown. The cult and new age thinking seem to be gaining momentum. I hear people asking for prayers AND positive thoughts lately. It is good to think positively about people, but the new age concept “sending positive energy” to someone is useless in my book. It almost says to me that I am sending my energy to do my will instead of praying by the Holy Spirit for God’s will to be done. Maybe it’s just me…

    Interest in the paranormal is sadly driving people to the occult to satisfy their spiritual interests and this is often where the downward spiral begins. Many movies today seem to have cultist undertones. We should be highly concerned about all this.

    It is important to remember that this is a spiritual battle that we are fighting. Occultists and new age thinkers are people. We are not supposed to turn our backs on them or hate them, we are supposed to invite them in. We should never compromise or water down the gospel to do so. I met a former satan worshiper and is now a radical Jesus worshiper. How awesome!

    Lord, let us be inviting to all as you would have it. May we know the difference between your command to kill all who were in the promised land and today’s great commission. We need Your divine help for the enemy’s voice is strong. Your word is our main defense.

  4. Rick Hall on said:

    Wow Scott, Thanks for sharing the levitation remark. I haven’t personally seen that, but based on things I have seen, and knowing you, I don’t doubt it for a second. It is good to drive home the point that the world really *is* spiritual, and *we* are in a battle. (Although we know who wins, and it isn’t much of a battle for *Him*.)

    ps – sorry, posted to the wrong day earlier…

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