1 Samuel 28:7
Saul then said to his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I can go and consult her.”
His servants replied, “There is a woman at En-dor who is a medium.”
How could this be!? Saul himself had once campaigned to eliminate every spiritist and medium in the nation. Just as God had commanded in Leviticus,
“A man or a woman who is* a medium or a spiritist must be put to death. They are to be stoned; their blood is on their own hands.”*
And Saul was the instrument of that justice. Certainly he was committed to it for scripture indicates he removed them all from Israel.
So how could he now be in the service of one? How could that once so horrific in his eyes as to cause him to wipe out all who practice it become the very thing he turns to in this hour?
If God had only spoken through a dream or a prophet or the Urim, then Saul’s anxiety would have been alleviated. But God was silent. And Saul was desperate to know.
Personal desperation can lead a Christian in one of two ways: Greater Dependency or Hypocrisy.
In that hour of pressing need when God is silent, when He seems absent, disinterested or despondent, the Christian can either remain dependent on Him, what he knows of His character, what he recalls of His promises and on what God has before spoken to him or he can fall faithlessly into the trap of hypocrisy. It is in the desperate moment that the Christian is much more apt to practice that against which he has ardently preached, to turn to that which he once publicly shunned in the name God for the sake of righteousness. Oh how sick to the soul is hypocrisy.
Christ in the Christian espouses honesty, kindness and sacrifice but when faced with a fiery trial and God is nowhere around, no rescue in sight, then lying to, stealing from, injuring or otherwise trespassing against a neighbor or our own virtue suddenly becomes a plausible route. Hypocrisy.
Panicked, Saul’s mind likely raced, “I must do something!” But it would have been better for Saul to do nothing, to resolve in his heart “God is silent on the matter so there is nothing I know to do” than to follow his desperation to the conclusion “God is silent on the matter so I will go and do what only else I know to do.”
The next time I’m pressed with a test or trial beyond what I think I can bear, though God be silent, I pray I’ll simply stand. Just stand, still and dependent on God. May desperation drive me deeper there and never again to that disgrace of hypocrisy.