The reputation of King Saul precedes him. He was the first king of Israel and although they had high expectations for him, he failed. Looking back, it seemed like he couldn’t do anything right, but he did do one thing right; Saul forbade witchcraft, he outlawed it. We know from Leviticus 20 that witchcraft was supposed to be outlawed so Saul outlawing witchcraft was a good thing. In other words, witchcraft was the only sin Saul hated enough to prosecute.
But again, Saul turned out to be a huge disappointment because only a short time after taking a stand against witchcraft, he fell into the one sin he hated most. In 1 Sam 28 Saul goes and participates in witchcraft with the witch of endor. If you had told Saul just a short time earlier that he was going to end up committing the sin of witchcraft you probably would’ve lost your head. But now, Saul had become what he hated.
The lesson here isn’t that you can’t hate sin. Or that if you hate sin you will inevitably become that sin. No, hating sin is good, Psalm 119:104 says “I hate every evil way.” We are supposed to hate sin.
But your hatred of sin is to be mixed with gratitude. When you are provoked by corrupt politicians, bad parents, disobedient children, recognize that if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit preserving and persevering you, that would be you. This is what drives us to pray with David “Lord take not your Holy Spirit from me.” We see clearly that before Saul could sink to the depths of witchcraft scripture says that the Spirit of God departed from him.
So does your hatred of sin drive you into a fit of gratitude that He has given you the Holy Spirit and has promised to persevere you to the end, or does it just leave you seething and angry? You have been given the priceless gift of the Holy Spirit so let your frustrations with the world drive you to be dependent on Him; and to be dependent on Him is to be in the Word, be always in prayer, and confess your sins.
Jeremiah Jasso – October 15, 2023