I get the closest to throwing hands when I’m loading a dishwasher with someone else.
It is absolute fury that I feel watching them put cups and bowls on the lower level of the dishwasher, or long utensils upright in the silverware basket, or something else insane and troubling.
Is this anger justified? Grumbling, I must answer no, but it feels justified in the moment because I am just so sure that my way of loading a dishwasher is better. (It is.)
I don’t just feel this way about dishwashing—I am a person who is very confident in my own opinion about almost everything.
But as a follower of God, I’m expected to surrender my internal logic to that of the Bible. Why? Don’t I know myself the best? Couldn’t my way be better after all?
No, my way is not better. Take it from Saul.
It’s 1 Samuel 28. The Philistines are attacking.
And King Saul is nearing the end of a very long road.
In 1 Samuel 13, God laid out His way before Saul very clearly. He told Saul that he was no longer God’s king. He told Saul that throne of Israel belonged to another man.
But rather than endure the humility of obedience, Saul made a different decision: he was going to hold onto the throne with all his strength.
And now, years later, with the Philistines breathing down his neck and death feeling very near, Saul makes one last ditch effort at making his way work:
Consult the prophet Samuel.
The only problem was that Samuel had been dead for over a year.
So the king of Israel, once God’s anointed, travels in disguise to a small hut at the edge of town where one of the last mediums in Israel lives. He asks her to conjure up Samuel for him. She does.
So far, so good. Saul’s plan is working. His way is looking up. Saul lets hope fill his chest one more time—hope that he can keep his throne, hope that he will beat David after all.
And then Samuel’s “ghost” opens his mouth:
“The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David…The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.”verses 17,19
And just like that, it’s over. Saul’s long, winding way has landed him back where he started.
He is out of options.
“I know the end from the beginning.”
Saul’s story is a tragic, but good read—not just cause of the drama, but because it is a reminder of a fact that is so easy to forget: God knows what He’s talking about.
He is eternal.
He is all powerful.
He is all knowing.
Yet still we have the gall to think we might know more than Him. We still have the audacity to substitute our measly guesses for his commands and warnings and promises in the Bible.
And I think one of the reasons why is because we forget not just the above, but this: He loves intensely, unendingly, unconditionally.
Because Someone who knows everything AND loves us is Someone to be trusted with our very lives.
So here’s the reminder: we can trust God’s way.
Now let’s choose to live His way.
What do you think? Why do you think Saul went to a medium?