Read 1 Samuel 27:1-28:25
What would you do out of desperation? Where would you run? To whom would you turn? What compromise would you make?
I suppose those are questions we cannot fully, or at least accurately, answer until we are in a desperate situation. Before we are there, we can only give an answer that we would hope would be true.
David was faced with such a situation. For months, he had been fleeing from an angry Saul. Saul was bent on killing this younger man destined for the throne. To this point, Saul had been prevented. Still, David was convinced that Saul would one day succeed . . . unless he took desperate steps. Those desperate steps took him into Philistine territory.
After hearing of David’s flight to Philistine dominated Gath, he initially gave up the search. But, as his frustration grew, Saul selfishly sought the Lord about next steps. But, his attempts were met with silence.
Now, clearly Saul should have sought the Lord . . . but not selfishly as he was doing. Instead, he should have sought the Lord’s forgiveness. He should have come to the Lord in repentance for his jealousy towards David. Saul should have sought the Lord’s pardon for his anger that had boiled into bitterness and overflowed into sin. But, because he didn’t seek the Lord in humble repentance, the God of heaven did not respond.
In desperation, then, Saul sought out a spiritual medium. If he couldn’t get his information, why not compromise. He sought out the very type of person he had earlier eliminated from the kingdom. He went to the very type of person that the Old Testament law said should be executed. Many, in fact, refer to this woman as the “witch of Endor.”
“Desperate situations call for desperate measures.” That’s what the old adage tells us. Indeed, that is correct. But the desperate measures always include humbly seeking the Lord. Desperate measures never merit things like compromise and disobedience . . . just so we can achieve a desired outcome.