Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
King Saul had rebelled against the Lord continually for much of his reign as Israel's monarch. Then when the Lord raised up young David to be his successor, Saul became possessed by an insane jealousy which motivated him to try to kill the youth. (Thus, in the books of heaven Saul was now listed as a "murderer," because the books of heaven record the sins which we would have committed if we had had the opportunity.)
Time and again the dear Lord appealed to Saul to repent of this murderous hatred; and sometimes Saul made a feeble effort to respond. He even apologized to David and thanked him for sparing his life in the cave of Engedi where David and his men were hiding when the king innocently came in to attend to his needs (the story is in 1 Samuel 24:1-22). But King Saul held on to his jealous hatred.
Then finally the old king comes to Endor where he faces the last challenge of his life. A vast military host of the Philistines is gathered against the feeble armies of Israel; national disaster looms. Saul prays an empty prayer, without repentance. (The story is in 1 Samuel 28:1-6, but there was no change of heart in Saul's "inquiry" of the Lord.)
Then King Saul did something unforgivable: he prayed to Satan for wisdom and salvation--a desperately wicked thing to do. This now put himself and his kingdom into the hands of Satan.
But even so the Lord had no bad news to tell King Saul: it was not too late for the king to repent and to cast himself and his kingdom on the mercy of the Lord; it was not too late for jealousy-ridden Saul to humble his heart and save both himself and his kingdom. If Saul had been willing to humble his heart in repentance and prayer to the Lord, the Lord would have received him and forgiven him; but his prayer was empty of repentance--still the Lord had no bad news for the man.
But Satan, through the witch of Endor, poured a "ton" of bad news on the poor king's head, and the result was that he died in utter despair at his own hand (31:1-6). The Lord never drives a despairing soul to suicide!
The only "news" the Lord has for anyone--at any time--is good news.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 28, 2008.
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