Where we go when we are in trouble tells us a lot about who we are. When Saul was in trouble, he went to a witch. Others might turn to alcoholism, consumerism, or workaholism. When you are in a tight place, where and to whom do you turn?
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Transcript: Welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. I’m so glad that you joined us as we are studying the invisible world. Today we’re going to explore the dark side of the invisible world, the world of the occult, the world of demonic spirits. There’s a very interesting story in First Samuel chapter 28, where king Saul goes to a witch. King Saul, by the way, is a very interesting man. Anointed by God, chosen by God, a great leader; still full of jealousy, full of envy, trying to kill David. You know the whole story. He puts out all the witches from the land, but when he is in a desperate place, he goes to a witch. It’s called the law of the exception that rulers sometimes use—“The rules that apply to you don’t apply to me.”
Now there’s a very interesting story there, and actually I’ve checked with some Bible scholars and we are all agreed that Samuel actually was called up by this witch. Samuel, of course, a great prophet of God. Now this is an unusual story. This is not the typical kind of occultic story, because even the witch was absolutely terrified. But the point was that Samuel came and gave Saul a judgement and said, “You are going to die because of your disobedience;” and that judgement turned out to be right.
Now let me give you another story, not from the Bible, but from history. There was a man by the name of Bishop Pike. Bishop Pike was a very liberal bishop. He died, by the way, in 1969 in Israel, and he wrote a book entitled “The Other Side.” I read that book because I was doing some studying on the occult and writing about Satan. Here’s what happened. Pike had a son who committed suicide, and when Pike came home, he noticed that the blinds of the house were always pulled the way in which his son liked it. Sometimes the clock on the wall stopped at the very moment, as far as the hours were concerned, when his son died. So he said, “My son is trying to connect with me.”
So he goes to a witch, to a medium, and his son comes up. And they have a discussion. And one of the things that happens in the discussion, which I remember most clearly, is that Pike says to his son, “Do you hear about Jesus on the other side?” And the son says “No dad. We don’t hear much about Jesus on the other side.” My friend today, just listen to me carefully. If when you die, you’re in a place where you don’t hear a whole lot about Jesus, you are in deep trouble.
Now what Pike didn’t realize is that there are demonic spirits. The King James refers to them as “familiar spirits,” spirits that are familiar with people. And so obviously this spirit was able to say some things that his son might have said, and known some things that his son knew. Pike was totally deceived, and all those who are in the occult are deceived.
As a matter of fact, one of Satan’s greatest desires is to have people connect with him and make them think that they are connecting with God. Deception is everywhere. And that’s why the Bible so strongly warns against any kind of occult activity, no matter what it is.
But here’s the point I want to make for us today: where we go when we are in trouble tells us a lot about who we are. Saul, when he was in trouble, he went to a witch. There are people today who, when they are in trouble, may go to alcoholism or they may even turn to the occult. What a terrible thing to do. Do you know why Saul died? The Bible is very clear. In fact, this is in First Chronicles chapter 10 verse 14. 13 and 14 says very clearly, Saul died because he went to a witch. And then it says, “He did not inquire of God.” Why didn’t he inquire of God? It’s because he knew that God would give him an answer that he did not want.
I wanna ask you something today. When you’re in a tight place, where do you go? Where do you turn? Do you turn to friends? They might be able to give you some good advice. Do you turn to substance abuse, to deaden the pain of the difficulty that you are in? Or do you inquire of God? You know, it is so important for us to recognize that only God knows the future with complete accuracy. He is the one who cares for us, and always, His answer is the best one.
We can never run to those who tell us what we want to hear. We go to God who always tells us the truth. Open your Bible. Read it. Claim James 1:5, as I have done so often, that if we lack wisdom, we ask of God. And whatever you do, don’t go to the dark side of the occult—actually, all sides of the occult, to be clear, are dark. Go to God. And as for today, as I frequently say, just go with God.