Monday, April 4, 2016

OT DAY 451 - What Would You Do When There Is No Way Out? (Please click here for English podcast)


1.   Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2.   Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace and feel His presence. Exhale your worries.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1.   Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2.   Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people
3.   Open your heart to praise the Lord

        I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
          I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
                                     Psalm 9:1-2

Confession and Repentance (Subjective Shifting Devotion Method

1.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you:

     “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

2.  Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray:

     "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."

The Word (1 Samuel 28:3-24)

        Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lordthe Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”
So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” 10 But Saul swore to her by the Lord“As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” 11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”
                                      1   Samuel 28:3-11

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"

    My Listening

          We have to be very careful to read today's passage, in case some of you think that the Bible teaches us to believe that the witch really could call Samuel up from somewhere in the dark side. That is purely Satan's cunning work to cheat people. And, that should not be Samuel who was speaking, it was the devil who was speaking. 

    Let's see how Professor John Goldingay tells us: 

       It is the eve of the last great confrontation between Saul and the Philistines, and Saul needs God's guidance, but he cannot get it by dreams or Urim and Thummim or prophets, the means that Israel is supposed to use in place of ghosts and spirits. So he is driven to seek guidance by the very route he has forbidden.
John Goldingay. 1 and 2 Samuel for Everyone. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011, p.110-111.

    How foolish Saul was and how sad it had become that God's anointed one  left God and asked for the Devil's help! Why? That's the result of leaving God because there is no way out!
      So, today's challenge is: What would you do when there is no way out?
      What's your answer? God's way? The Devil's way?

Dear Lord Jesus,
    Help us to choose wisely when we are desperate. Lead us to be close to you so that we won't make that fatal mistake as Saul did. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. 

Reflect on these questions:
    1. Have you been desperate thinking you have no way out? Did you try the Devil's way to find some fortune teller or witchcraft? Do you know how evil that could lead you to? 

2. How can you be sure that you won't make this mistake? How can you help someone not to make such mistake? 

    3. What have you got from Jesus today?

 Praise and Thanksgiving

10,000 Reasons

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