Week 16 Tuesday

Be Careful Whom You Ask

Today’s scripture selection: First Samuel 26-31

Key verses: First Samuel 28:5-8


     At the end of his tumultuous life King Saul needed some advice.  The scripture says that, having rid his land of mediums and spiritists he asked the Lord for guidance.  He received no guidance – at least not as soon as he wanted it.

     So – back to the mediums he went.

     He disguised himself and went to see the woman history now remembers as the witch at Endor.

     The scripture goes on to tell of how Saul was told – either through the spirit of Samuel, or some other “ghostly figure,” that he would soon die.

     It’s a good reminder that we need to be careful where we seek advice – especially spiritual advice.

     There’s a lot of renewed interest in the occult these days – just look at the popular movies and TV shows around us.

     There’s a lot of debate about whether mediums and other spiritists, and the skills they possess, are helpful or not.

     I admit myself that some of what they do can be, on the surface at least, pretty impressive.

     But at the end of the day – I am going to steer clear of their advice.

     I’ll take the Bible’s counsel any day.

     I’ll grant you that it’s not always easy to understand.

     I’ll grant you that sometimes it raises questions in my mind.

     But most of all – I’ll stand on the time proven truth that God’s word will never lead you down the wrong path.

So – my advice is to be careful where you get your spiritual advice.  And if it’s a choice between God’s word and prayer or your friendly local medium…well, decide for yourself which is best.


Prayer: Lord, give me a discerning spirit, and a willing ear, to hear your advice – and yours alone.  AMEN.  


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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