occultic crystal ball April 24 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 1Samuel 28:3-25; 1Samuel 30:1-31

God or the Occult?

Some people read (and some follow) horoscopes to lead them in their daily lives and decisions. Are horoscopes reliable? Should we read them and follow them? No, in fact horoscopes are an introduction into the world of the mystics and the occult. God is not pleased with us when we rely on these things instead of relying on him. Why do we do it? Besides natural curiosity, some of us are not in tune with God and his Word, the Bible. In times of stress then, many turn to tarot cards, ouija boards, séances, and horoscopes. All these, however, can be tools of Satan and can lead us to defeat or disaster.

At this time Saul faced the Philistine army and was afraid. How did King Saul face his trials of extreme stress? He looked to a witch to call up Samuel. This shows us how far Saul had fallen in God's grace. Now Saul was in a fox-hole, so to speak, facing a battle with great fear, looking for help from any source, even from witchcraft. He himself, in better spiritual times, had recognized the wickedness of witchcraft and had banned it from the land. At this time, however, Saul was not on good terms with God, and God would not answer him. Saul did not repent, and he did not humble himself. He sought the LORD in his pride. But God rejects the proud and exalts the humble. How will we seek God's help in our times of affliction? Will we be like Saul or David?

David was also a man under a lot of stress. Because of Saul’s hot pursuit of David, he sought refuge for himself, his family, his army and their families in Philistine territory. He feigned loyalty to King Achish and was so convincing that the king wanted David’s army to fight alongside the Philistine army against Israel. To do this would mean that he would fight against his own people, King Saul, and David’s beloved friend, Jonathan. David was caught between a rock and a hard place; he wanted to appear loyal, but he did not want to fight against his own people. Fortunately, God solved the problem for him. The Philistine generals were afraid that David and his men might change sides during the conflict and lop off some Philistine heads to re-gain favor with King Saul. King Achish sent David and his army back home to Ziklag.

When David and his men neared Ziklag, however, they saw that the town had been burned, and they found it was looted and all their families taken captive. “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God,” (1Samuel 30:6, NIV). David did not consult with a witch as Saul had done. David consulted with God through his ordained priest and the approved instruments of the Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:30). According to The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the Old Testament, by Walvoord and Zuck, © 1985, p. 152, the words Urim and Thummim mean “Lights and Perfections.” These were two special stones that were helpful in understanding God’s will when there was uncertainty. The stones were in the pocket of the Ephod (breast plate) that the priests wore to determine the will of the LORD. We have no such devices today; we have the completed Word of God to give us direction under the guidance of his Holy Spirit (2Timothy 3:16-17).

God told David to pursue the raiders of their town because they would certainly overtake them, kill them, and recover everything they lost, including their families. Along the way 200 hundred of David’s 600 men were too exhausted to continue the pursuit, so David assigned them to stay with their supplies until they came back. When David and his 400 men came upon the Amalekite raiding party,

David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, "This is David's plunder." (1Samuel 30:17-20, NIV)

After David plundered those who plundered them, he shared some of the plunder with the 200 men who stayed with their supplies, and he astutely shared some with the leaders of towns in the tribe of Judah, where he would soon begin his reign. God gives victory and blessings to those who rely upon him.

Lessons to live by:

  • God rejects the proud and exalts the humble.
  • Consult God, not witchcraft or other vices of the occult. He is the Almighty God of the universe who cares for you. He can give you the answers your to your deepest needs (more...)
  • The completed Word of God gives us direction under the guidance of his Holy Spirit.
  • God gives victory and blessings to those who rely upon him.

Today’s Bible memory verse: 2Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (NIV)

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