March 27

1 Samuel 28-31, Psalm 86

When we fall in line with the norms of society and use that as our standard of right and wrong we are in trouble. Worse than that is when the overriding statement of God's love is used to condone things which God is clearly opposed to in Scripture therefore validating these sins. Often when it comes to the topic of homosexuality, I hear people say God would never blame someone who is gay since he was born that way. Also, I have heard people say that God would never condemn two people who truly love each other. The other day when sharing with a patient, though not gay herself, when she brought up her thought that God was wrong on the topic of gay marriage, she stated: "Is it a problem if I disagree with God on a thing or two?" Realize she was Biblically illiterate and truly meant no disrespect by this question. When it comes to abortion I hear similar arguments. People will say the, "God would never want a baby with that abnormality to live like that." Or, "God would never want a baby who was not wanted to have to live in a household like that?" But God is not equivocal on either topic. God has left no room for acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle under His banner, even though many churches in the city now place the rainbow banner representing homosexuality on their churches showing their acceptance of it. In Exodus 21:22-25, we see the punishment God uses if a pregnant woman loses her baby at the hands of another by accident, it goes without saying how God views it if done purposefully.

When Saul's world is spiraling out of control, and his pleas to God are seemingly unanswered, he actually turns to a medium to bring up the spirit of Samuel for advice. We read in 1 Samuel 28:3, that earlier Saul did the right thing, "...And Saul had put the mediums and the spiritists out of the land." But when things go bad we read in 28:7, "Then Saul said to his servants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." When the woman was found, she responded in fear stating she would get in trouble for doing this, but we read in 28:10, "And Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, "As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing." In Leviticus 19:31, God said, "Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them: I am the Lord your God." He clearly states the punishment for one caught in this act in Exodus 22:18, "You shall not permit a sorceress to live." But here, not only does Saul seek one, but he elevated his own opinion above that of God, then invokes God's name in his verdict. Saul, like so many others, at this moment are assuming the role of God. We now have psychics, etc all over our public areas. They are either hoaxes or worse than that can conjure up spirits. But realize these are not those of departed loved ones but they are tapping into the demonic realm, and we should never view this as harmless. I remember as a child, on occasion, the women in my neighborhood would hire a clairvoyant for a fun night and have everyone's fortune told. Seemed harmless but it was not.

When people state they follow the 10 commandments, they usually state that they have not murdered anyone. People often elevate the last 6 commandments which are horizontal commandments between man and man over the first four which are vertical commandments between man and God. The first commandment in Exodus 20:3 is, "You shall have no other gods before Me." When Jesus is asked by a lawyer as to which is the most important commandment, He said in Matthew 22:37, "Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." To do this it means we submit to His authority and not elevate our own views to god-like status and worse than that impute our views onto Him. Paul writes in Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Reading and studying the entirety of Scripture helps us not to make incorrect statements concerning God and to submit to His rule in every area of our lives. He takes away the middle ground and declares things black and white.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster