The Manipulation Trap (1 Samuel 27-29)

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.” (1 Samuel 28:8)

When things don’t go the way we want in life, it’s tempting to try and manipulate our way into a different outcome.  Such was the case with Saul as he visited a witch in order to manipulate the situation he was facing with the Philistines pursuing him.  Since Saul had turned his back on the Lord, he turned to any other means he could find to get what it was that he desired.

Saul’s attitude led to him breaking the law of the Lord and going to consult a witch in the middle of the night.  This incredibly strange encounter shouldn’t be misconstrued as legitimate work of the medium because the witch was quite surprised when Samuel actually appeared.  More than likely, God sent Samuel to give one more important message to Saul: your time is up.

Saul had moved so far away from what God desired as a king that he lost his privilege of leading.  What Saul did, though, isn’t altogether different than what we do when we turn our backs on God, too.  We try to manipulate circumstances and even violate moral values simply to accomplish what we want.  There’s such a stark contrast between David and Saul that it’s no surprise God approved of David taking over the throne.

In those moments when you’re tempted to manipulate the outcomes and get your own way, don’t be fooled by the trap; God will never lead you to violate His principles, nor will He bless your attempts to refuse to submit to Him.

Even when you don’t understand why the outcome is what it is, commit to trusting that Your heavenly Father is in control, and that He knows what He’s doing.

Lord, when things don’t go my way in life, it’s so tempting to try and manipulate the circumstances so that things work more to my liking.  In doing so, though, I miss whatever growth experience You have for me.  Let me be willing to submit to Your will even when it doesn’t make sense, and let me confidently proclaim that, though I’m not in control, I trust the One who is.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.

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