DCLM Daily Manna 2023: DCLM Daily Manna 10 September 2023: Obedience, Not Religion
KEY VERSE: “And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.” – (1 Samuel 28:8)
TEXT: 1 Samuel 28:7-15 (KJV)
Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
Often times, many people find it easy to defend themselves. Even when there are obvious lapses, they rationalise such faults; but God sticks to His standard. Saul, the first king of Israel claimed innocence when he brought alive Agag, king of Amorites and some other animals for sacrifice. He had been commanded to utterly destroy every living creature in the city but he did his own will and not God’s. He did not see anything wrong in what he did; he claimed self-righteousness. He lost fellowship with God.
In our text, we read of Saul’s visit to the woman with familiar spirit at Endor. God had refused to answer Saul’s enquiry either by dreams, Urim or the prophets. He became afraid and his heart trembled as he saw the host of the Philistines gathered to war with Israel. He needed late Samuel’s advice on his next move. King Saul had to disguise himself as an ordinary man.
How many people today go about wearing a toga of Christianity without knowing God! There are many disguised people in the church today, who do not hear from God like Saul. They lack close relationship with Christ and only identify with Him by religious observances. They do not see anything wrong with partial or lack of obedience. In times of adversity, such people seek help secretly, like Saul, from sorcerers. Yet, they are known as ‘Christians’ in the fold.
Today, if all you boast of is observance of religious principles and rites, you may be disappointed on the final day. Saul lost it when he disobeyed God; and the Scriptures say disobedience is like the sin of witchcraft; and no disobedient or self-righteous person will enter heaven. Remember, God will not judge on the basis of the standard you set for yourself but on His word and your obedience.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Remove the disguise of religion and be obedient.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Psalm 110-118
Thank you for studying today’s Daily Manna – Obedience, Not Religion – by Pastor W.F Kumuyi
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Daily Manna 10 September 2023