Genesis 10:14. Noah's curse was against Canaan. The sons of Canaan were the ones to destroyed by Israel when they went into Canaan. Thus, Noah's curse was carried out in the destruction of the Canaanits, not in the "black" race. See below.
As we look at David's distressful situation brought about by his lack of faith and lies, we must remember what we would probably do in his situation.
The danger into which David had plunged through his flight into the land of the Philistines, and still more through the artifice with which he had deceived the king Achish as to his real feelings, was to be very soon made apparent to him. For example, when the Philistines went to war again with Israel, Achish summoned him to go with his men in the army of the Philistines to the war against his own people and land, and David could not disregard the summons. But even if he had not brought himself into this danger without some fault of his own, he had at any rate only taken refuge with the Philistines in the greatest extremity; and what further he had done, was only done to save his own life. The faithful covenant God helped him therefore out of this trouble, and very soon afterwards put an end to his persecution by the fact that Saul lost his life in the war. (Keil & Delitzsch.)
One lie leads to another. David lied about his loyalties in 27:10. Now he must live that lie. David looked to Achish the Philistine for his protection. Now he must protect the Philistine.
NOTE: To whomsoever we look to for our protection, we must obey. If we, even a church, look to the state for protection, we must obey the state. This applies especially to the incorporation of a church body.
David does not really give a direct answer to Achish. Rather, it is a typical political answer, meant to be unoffensive and non-committal.
David says, Surly thou shalt know... Know what? That he can fight; that he will not fight?
God worked it out to where David would not have to carry out his deception, but he plays his deception to the hilt. (29:1-11)
God saved and protected his Old Testament saints by his grace and mercy the same as he does today. David certainly did not deserve God's protection and deliverance here, but God in his mercy delivered him. God had promised David the kingdom, and now the promise is about to be fulfilled, despite David's foolishness.
1. How many times do we put God on a shelf, and flee to the world for help. Then God in his mercy still watches over and cares for us in spite of our foolishness? Thankfully, God does watch us closely, or we would drown in the mess we make, as David would have here.
2. That one lie will require many more to cover it. It is not long before we are in over our heads.
Again, because Achish had evil motives, he was very susceptible to David's lie, believing about David what he wanted to believe, though David did not spell out what he meant. Achish read into David's ambagious words what he wanted to hear.
3. Wrong motives on our part will prevent us from seeing wrong motives on the part of others who are out to deceive us.
The Philistines gathered their armies...
Who were the Philistines?
Genesis 10:14. The son of Casluhim, the son of Mizraim, or Egypt, the son of Ham. Mizraim and Canaan were brothers (Genesis 10:6) ,so actually the Philistines were not Canaanites, but were Egyptians from the line of Mizraim. The list of the Canaanites is given in Genesis 20:15. (Note that Noah's curse was against Canaan. The sons of Canaan were the ones to destroyed by Israel when they went into Canaan. Thus, Noah's curse was carried out in the destruction of the Canaanits, not in the "black" race.)
However, some say they were of the race of Shem, their language being akin to the Hebrew, yet distinct from it. "The fact that the Philistines were uncircumcised does not prove that they were not a Semitic people." (ISBE)
The Philistines were an uncircumcised people inhabiting the shore plain between Gezer and Gaza in Southwestern Palestine (see PHILISTIA). The name Palestine itself (Hebrew pelesheth) refers to their country. The word means "migrants," and they came from another country. They are noticed 286 times in the Old Testament, and their country 8 times. The question of their race and origin is of great importance as affecting the genuine character and reliability of the Bible notices. In #Ge 10:14 (#1Ch 1:12) they are reckoned with other tribes in Mizraim (Egypt) as descendants of Ham, and as cousins of the old inhabitants of Babylonia (#Ge 10:6). They are said to be a branch of the Casluhiman unknown peopleor, according to Septuagint, of the Casmanim, which would mean "shavers of the head"a custom of the Phoenicians (forbidden to Hebrews as a rule), as known from a picture of the time of Thothmes III in the 16th century BC. They are also connected with the Caphtorim or people of Caphtor, whence indeed they are said to have come (#Jer 47:4; Am 9:7). Caphtor was a "shoreland," but its position is doubtful (see #De 2:23); the Caphtorim found an earlier race of Avim living in "enclosures" near Gaza, and destroyed them. In the Septuagint of this passage (and in #Am 9:7) Cappadocia stands for Caphtor (Kaphtor), and other versions have the same reading. Cappadocia was known to the Assyrians as kat-pat-uka (probably an Akkadian term" land of the Kati"), and the Kati were a people living in Cilicia and Cappadocia, which region had a Semitic population side by side with Mengels (see HITTITES) at least as early as the time of Moses. It is very likely therefore that this reading is correct. (ISBE, Online Bible.)
The Philistines headquarters or chief city seems to have been Gerah. In David's day, Gerah was a few miles away from Gath.)
Genesis 18, Abraham was dwelling in the planes of Mamre. There, there Lord himself appeared to Abraham, and renewed his promise to Abraham and Sarah. V. 12, Sarah laughed.
18:16, 17. The men arose... and looked toward Sodom. The Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham the thing which I do; Because I know Abraham will be great, and he will teach his children.
Observe: The reason God judges his people, or what brings judgment failure to train our children in the ways of the Lord. Jeremiah 5:7, 7:26.
18:23. Abraham offers one of the greatest intercessory prayers in Scripture, pleading with the Lord for Sodom. Note how short it is.
13:18. It was in Mamre where Abraham established his tent and built an altar unto the Lord after Lot made his choice, and after God had shown Abram the promised land.
Mamre was two miles north of Hebron, the land of Judah. Gath and Gera were also in Judah's inheritance also, but was possessed by the Philistines even though promised to Israel through the tribe of Judah.
Up until the time of David, Hebron was controlled by Judah, but both Gath and Gera were controlled by the Philistines, even though they were in Judah's inheritance. Under David and Solomon, both cities were controlled by God's people, but the tribe of Judah never actually took the area.
Genesis 20:1, Abraham fled to Gerar, the city of Abimelech, king of the Philistines, because of hard times in Hebron.
God did not tell him to go to Gerar where Abraham lied about his wife, hoping to benefit from the Philistine king.
Then in 1 Samuel 21:10, David fled to Achish, king of the Philistines, in Gath. God did not send him there, and he had to lie to benefit from the king of the Philistines.
1 Samuel 27:1, David again flees to Gath to Achish, king of the Philistines, without instructions from the Lord to do so. Actually, he had been told to go to Judah.
Like Abraham, David lies to "enjoy" the protection of the king of the Philistines. When David goes back to Hebron, he is made king. 2 Samuel 2:1.
Abraham, Isaac and David
They were special chosen men of God.
They did not learn from their mistakes or from the mistakes of their fathers.
They fled to the Philistines when they came to a point where a choice had to be made. The choice was between faith, God's protection and supply, vs what appeared to be right, or appealed to the flesh. They walked by sight. The land of the Philistines looked better, and the Philistine's ways seemed better when the times were difficult.
They had to lie, compromise, while they were in the Philistines'
David, the one after God's own heart, in order to keep the protection of the king led the king to believe he had turned against his own people, and even kill his own people. God intervened to where he did not have to carry through his deception, but would he have done it?
Though both were out of God's will, God protected them, but he would rather have protected them where he had told them to be in Judah, Hebron.
They left the land of promise, Judah, Hebron, which was actually possessed by the tribe of Judah in David's time. They considered their way the better way than God's way.
Though the locations were different, Gerar and Gath with a few miles between them, both were capitals of the Philistines when they fled to them, for both were the dwelling place of the kings at the various times. They did not seek safety in a land, but in a king, the king of the Philistines.
If we seen our protection and supply from any place other than God's place, it is from the Philistine king.
They, all three, had a price to pay for going to the world for their needs because they could not trust God.
A person cannot strike out on his own without reaping the results.
Note that if "father Abraham," as well as Isaac and David, had this problem, how much more should we watch and avoid seeking protection from the world. God's way to financial security is still give and it shall be given...
God's way to secure the future is to train our children in
the way they should go.
God's way to success is to be faithful in the little things.
1 Samuel 28:3. At least Saul did one right thing. He had put away those that had familiar spirits...
V. 4. Philistines in Shunem... Shunem was quite a ways into the land of Israel (Issachar). While Saul was out trying to catch David, who was not an enemy, the real enemy moved in.
How like us today: As we pursue unimportant things, the important things get out of control, or get away. Families are important, but when we let them replace our personal relationship with the Lord, we have lost both. It is so easy to get sidetracked on unimportant and frivolous matters.
V. 5. Saul was afraid, and well he should have been. Those who rebel against God have every reason to be afraid and troubled. The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1
Saul: He could not wait on Samuel. He did not obey in killing all the Amalekites. He killed the priests of God. He spent his time pursuing David, and doing what he felt was best to do.
Probably over the period of 38 years he rebelled against God. Now his time is running out, and he has every reason to tremble because of his wasted years of rebellion. His sins are about to catch up with him. He should have been able to rejoice in the opportunity for the Lord to show himself strong against the Philistines, but he trembled with fear.
The lost and wasted opportunities of the past to serve God will be looked back upon with much sorrow, for it will catch up. The wrong priorities will catch us when it is too late to do anything about them.
V. 6. When Saul enquired of the Lord... Things got difficult. Why do God's people wait until it is many times too late to do anything. Things get difficult, and everything starts piling up or coming apart, and then they want the Lord to rescue them. Saul is an example here of "there are no atheists in the foxhole."
Saul now finds time to seek the Lord. It took 38 years to find the time, after he had wasted his life pursuing his own desires.
When things get bad enough, man will seek God. What will it take to get us to seek him?
V. 6. Notice it was too late. The Lord answered him not.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
God is not an emergency exit out of a burning building. Saul sought the Lord without repentance.
God would have shown mercy to Saul if he had come on God's terms. Proverbs 28:13, 14. But Saul refused to do so:
Jeremiah 3:12 ¶ Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. 13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. 22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.
Jeremiah 6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
The Lord tells us exactly why Saul died:
1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; 14 And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
1 Samuel 28:6 tells us that Saul did enquire of the Lord. 1 Samuel is the human view of the situation, and 1 Chronicles is God's view.
There is coming a time for those who have put God on a shelf, and the Lord will not be near when he is needed.
Saul had killed the priests, hated and persecuted Samuel the prophet, and now he looks to the urim (priest) and the prophet (Samuel) for an answer.
What did he expect? To be able to mock God, and still have God come to his aid?
What was completely unimportant to him when times were good now becomes his only means of "salvation." But that means is closed to him. Isn't it something how those with little regard for church and the things of the Lord suddenly rearrange their priorities when they get in a bind. Then they sure are quick to ask the church to pray for them.
We see with Saul that prayer without repentance over known sin is wasted breath.
V. 3. Saul had put away... witchcraft. This was commendable on Saul's part, but notice that though he put away witchcraft from his kingdom, he kept witchcraft in his heart.
"It is sin if you are doing it. If it affects me, I will report you. But in my heart, it is OK." The very thing we condemn in others many times in the very thing causing us a great deal of problems.
He put it out of his kingdom, but not out of his heart, and lost his kingdom and life. If he had put it out of his heart, he would have kept the kingdom.
Our relationship to the Lord is based on the heart attitude, and here if Saul had removed witchcraft from his heart, he would also have removed it from the kingdom. You can have the physical realm right and not the Spiritual, but you cannot have the spiritual right without the physical.
What is in the heart will come out, and it did here.
V. seek me a woman.. A witch. Saul enquired of heaven and no answer. Instead of correcting the problem, he now knocks on the door of hell.
Seek me a witch... Saul turned to witchcraft 38 years previously with his rebellion against the word of the Lord. 15:23.
Now he turns to witchcraft physically. It took many years of refusing to turn to the Lord, but it catches up. We see the same all around us. As society had turned from the Lord, witchcraft is being exalted.
Seek me a witch... Man must have "grace" to livethat is, either guidance and power from above or from beneath, but he must have power from outside himself. A man that turns to himself instead of the Lord is in witchcraft. A man who spends his life doing his own thing' has spent his life serving witchcraft. Thus, when the chips are down,' he might as well seek his answers from the god he has served.
Jeremiah 11:11 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. 12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. 14 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.
Judges 10:13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. 14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. 15 And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. 16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.
Judges contains some interesting points:
1. God's people serve the wrong gods.
2. Their service naturally leads to problems.
3. In their problems, turmoil and oppression, they call out to the Lord.
4. God in turn tells them to call out to the false gods they have been serving. Let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.
5. Of course, the people knew these false gods could not deliver them.
6. They confessed their sins before the Lord.
7. They humbled themselves, do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. They submitted themselves completely to the Lord.
8. They cleaned up their lives" they put away the strange gods from among them...
9. They served the Lord.
10. The Lord was grieved for their misery.
11. He raised up Jephthah to deliver his people. Added comment: Jephthah made an unholy vow to the Lord, 11:30. The probable reason for making that vow was because of the false gods they had worshiped over the years still had a hold upon him. See my notes at Judges 11.
Saul rebelled 38 years ago.
His rebellion naturally led to problems.
In his problems, turmoil, he tries to turn to the Lord, but the Lord will not answer him.
He then turns to the false god he has served for his answer that is, witchcraft, or rebellion and stubbornness.
Notice that he retained his rebellion and pride right up to his death. He would not make it right with the Lord, whereas the people in Judges 10, and many other places, God's people confessed and forsook their sins, and served the Lord, and cast themselves upon his mercy. Which resulted in his deliverance.
How sad that God's people have the resurrection power of Christ Jesus at their disposal, but their pride prevents God from showing himself strong in their behalf. They will not forsake their witchcraft as seen in their rebellion and stubbornness against the Word of God.
God said, "Go seek help from the false gods you have served." Saul did, but that was really not what God wanted of him. Rather, God wanted him to realize his sin, confess and forsake, and then claim God's mercy.
Certainly, all of this worked together for God's glory, in order for David to be equipped to sit on the throne, but Saul was still responsible for his actions.
1 Samuel 28:8. Saul went to the witch in utter helplessness. If he would only have humbled himself in utter helplessness before the Lord as he did before Samuel at the witch, the end results could have been far different.
It is interesting how fast men will humble themselves before other men to accomplish their goal, but not before the Lord. Maybe they are fearful that the Lord's end will not be the outcome they desire.
Saul, in his hardness, goes through with meeting the witch, even promising the witch safety if she will fulfill his request.
Saul is completely and totally blinded by his rebellion, even to the point of disguising himself, and sneaking to her by night, so God's people would not see what he was doing.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
V. 11. "I want Samuel," which was no problem to the witch until Samuel truly appeared. The witch, of course, had never called on back from the dead, though I am sure she made a good loving making people believe she could do that.
I would say that those she spoke to "from the dead" were evil spirits, for there is no communication with the dead.
God, in his providence, allowed Samuel to "come up," which caught the witch totally by surprise.
Vv. 15-19, Samuel reminds Saul why the Lord had departed from him, but he still would not repent.
Samuel came up... Samuel had departed to paradise, or Sheol, the realm of the dead which was in the center of the earth until Christ rose from the dead. Samuel ask, "why are you bothering me?"
Saul had never bothered to seek the man of God up to this point, even though he was only a short distance from Samuel.
The proud do not seek help until, many times, help is too late.
V. 15. God won't answer me. Maybe you will. Did Saul think that now that Samuel was dead, he was no longer bound by God's law-word? Or that because Samuel was dead, he would have more of an insight? It is hard to say what Saul though , but one thing is for sure,
Man will turn to anything other than God, as long as he does not have to deal with his rebellion and pride.
V. 16. How do you expect me to answer you if God will not? He is the Lord of the living as well as of the dead. All the Lord is doing is letting his word come to pass that is, the judgment for your rebellion is being executed by the Lord, and he is using the Philistines to accomplish his judgment 38 years after your rebellion
How many times throughout the Old Testament have we seen God use the heathen to execute his judgment against his people who have turned from him?
V. 17. Not only is the Lord going to judge you for your rebellion, but he is going to judge those who followed you. I am sure many of the people who followed Saul are involved here in the battle with the Philistines as Israel is defeated. It took about 40 years for the results to catch up.
Evidently, Saul though he had avoided the judgment of God over his rebellion. Samuel is again pointing out what is taking place, as he reminds him of his sin of rebellion.
Vv. 17, 18. Once again, we see that Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Ecclesiastes 8:11
I think this is what happened to Saul. He was having difficulty here connecting the events of his rebellion 38 years earlier with the Philistines gathering against him. Now Samuel forces him to make the connection.
Why does God wait so long to execute judgment? It is to give the sinner time to repent. Saul could have repented up to this time. Now the judgement is set, as is the time of judgment and the means of that judgment. Would Saul have made the connection if Samuel had not told him here through the witch?
Man can get so hardened and set in his sin that he refuses to hear any truth about his sin. How many pastors have wished they could immediately show the results of the sins of their people to the people, and they would understand and believe?
V. 20. So shocking was the news that Saul fell to the ground, terrified. He should not have been, for God had warned him for 38 years.
His visit to the witch was the final "straw." 1 Chronicles 10:13. If Saul had confessed his sin when the Lord refused to answer him, he would have kept the kingdom, and his son established.
The children are established by their parents humility before the mighty had of God. The Lord is the one who puts down and lifts up. It is he who establishes, not man's wisdom and understanding.
V. 21. Of course, Saul was sore troubled, but too late to fast over it now. His fate was sealed.
A few concluding points from this chapter:
FIRST: The witch, v. 9, was more concerned about man's law (Saul's threat of death) than she was about God's law. Her concern was that Saul would find out, not that God would find out, and judge accordingly.
Men are quick to lose the fear of the Lord. As they lose proper fear, society destabilizes. Then the fear of man, civil government, replaces the fear of God, and despotism takes over.
As society is de-Christianized, pagan chaos takes over. Then rather than re-institute Christian law and order, a strong central government is put in place. Then the power migrates to a select few who will use it for their own purpose.
A good example is the unjust and wicked property tax and IRS. The problem can be traced to:
Matthew 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
Our problem is that Christians refuse to render unto God the things that are God's, e.g., money, loyalty, family, children, &c. Then we complain when Caesar takes over those areas.
God has given laws and applications for every area of life, and to the extent man will obey them, God will bless. But as man lays aside God's laws, man substitutes his own laws, which lead to death.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (16:25)
We live today in a society held together by the fear of man, bureaucracy, instead of the fear of God and his word.
SECOND: If Saul had shown this much concern in trying to get right with God, he would have been a lot better off.
A. Saul had someone seek out a woman, v. 7. He sought for a woman that hath a familiar spirit, not for someone that hath a familiar spirit.
B. He disguised himself with other cloths.
C. He came by night.
D. He promised to protect a witch in the name of the Lord And Saul swear to her by the LORD...
E. He had been fasting all day and night.
If Saul had had this much concern and determination to contact the Lord, no telling what would have take pace.
How much more ready we are to seek man's advice, even pagan men, than we are to pay the price and seek the Lord.
Some years ago, 1986, I had a couple come to me for help. She had been in the Wabash Mental Hospital. Now, she wanted to "try God," because all else had failed. The willingly submitted to the pagans at Wabash, but they would not submit to God. The rich man did not say, Send Lazarus until it was too late.
THIRD: V. 15 with 1 Samuel 16:14. Saul did not seek God's help until things were utterly out of control and falling apart. He did not complain that God had departed from him until he saw his own life on the line. But even then, he would not deal with his sin. He still sought other means of victory. His heart was now as hard as stone. Saul reminds me of Nabal, the fool, whose heart did turn to stone before he died.
Because God did not execute his sentence against Saul in 1 Samuel 16:14, Saul's heart came fully set in him to do evil:
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
Man's heart is set in him to sin, rebellion and self-destruction as the sparks fly upward. (Job 5:7.)
The redemptive word of Christ, plus a steady diet of the word of God, prayer and humility (Proverbs 28:13, 14) will prevent God's sentence of self-destruction.
Finished typing in, December 4, 2008