1 Samuel 28:15
And Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed…
What a complication of calamities! What a deluge of distress and misery!
I. REFLECT A MOMENT ON THE LANGUAGE OF HIS COMPLAINT. "The Philistines are come upon me." However disproportionate the forces of a defending army, a Christian king and a Christian people are secure. "A thousand shall fall at their side, and ten thousand at their right hand, but it shall not Dome nigh them." But when a man forsakes the Lord until the season of distress, who can wonder if his repentance is destitute of the character of sincerity, and he is left to perish. "If ye walk contrary to me, I will walk contrary to you," is the threatening of that God who has justice as well as mercy.
1. But still, listen to his cry, "The Lord hath forsaken me." This is indescribably dreadful! Better that all the world should leave us, better that we lose our health, our strength, our property, our friends, than be forsaken of Him whose smile is Heaven, whose frown is hell. What a state of abandonment, what a state of orphanage! With no eye to pity, with no arm to save. But what follows from such withdrawment of the greatest and the best of Beings? Penal blindness of mind, hardness of heart, the uncontrolled sway of evil passions, left a prey to the tempter, and to the influence and associations of wicked men. But this is not all; hear him yet again: "And the Lord answers me not, neither by prophets nor by dreams." This, if possible, is still more distressing and dreadful than before. What a privilege is prayer! What must it be to have our prayers rejected.
II. THE METHOD WHICH HE ADOPTED TO OBTAIN RELIEF. What a wretched expedient for soothing the anguish of a guilty conscience! And yet how often do we see subterfuges, equally untenable and unsafe, resorted to by transgressors to stifle conviction, to prevent reflection, to silence the accusations of a guilty mind, and to obtain a little temporary relief.
III. LET US NOW CONTEMPLATE HIS OVERTHROW — HIS MONITORY DEATH. What does this subject suggest for our mutual improvement?
1. How possible it is to live and die without hope in the world though surrounded by religious advantages.
2. We learn the awful consequences of rebellion against God.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me, to bring me up?" Saul answered, "I am very distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me, and answers me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I shall do."