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Tag Archives: Saul

A Ghostly Encounter

As Halloween approaches each year, I’m always wondering how to respond to this secular holiday.  After reading a passage today about what the disciples appeared to see, this is as good of a time as any to address ghostly encounters of the Bible.  Depending upon which source you reference, a ghost can take the form of an apparition of a dead person.  This manifestation may appear as a glimmer, shadow or spirit.  However, you want to define a ghost, based upon the passage below it’s clear that Jesus’ own disciples believed in ghosts.
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear, Matthew 14:26.
One of the most famous ghostly encounters in the Bible occurs in the Old Testament.  During the reign of Israel’s first king, Saul’s prophet Samuel and spiritual mentor dies.  When this source of discernment was no longer available, Saul panicked following a rare defeat on the battlefield.  Turning to a medium which he banned from his kingdom, Saul sends servants to find the Witch on Endor.  Despite fear of breaking the law, Saul convinces this witch to perform a séance.  This term is French referring to taking a seat, a session to bring back spirits from the dead.
Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”  “Bring up Samuel,” he said.  When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”  The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”  The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth,” 1 Samuel 28:11-13.
Unlike the séance which takes place in the 1990 film Ghost, the spirit of Samuel comes back to give King Saul a message.  Instead of receiving comforting news, the ghost of Samuel communicates the impending doom set to fall upon Saul.  This chapter brings up multiple issues to contemplate.  However, the greatest lesson from this ghostly encounter can be found in who you trust.  While God has allowed certain individuals to communicate with spirits of the past similar to the Sixth Sense, trusting in the Lord alone is essential.  Anything else opens the door for fear which the disciples experienced in Matthew.  Therefore, despite what you might encounter in this life, make sure that you practice the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 so that you are sheltered by the Holy Spirit.
by Jay Mankus

Unconscious

There are a couple of ways to view the term unconscious.  The most obvious refers to those who are knocked out, in a comatose state.  Another relates to those who appear to be senseless without a conscience.  The latter can seem to be heartless, unmoved by life altering events.

And Saul approved of their killing Stephen. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, Acts 8:1.

A well known Pharisee of the first century could be described as unconscious.  After overseeing the execution of the apostle Stephen, Saul goes on a mission to snuff out Christianity within the Jewish community.  During this pursuit, Saul doesn’t seem phased by the death of Christians, like he get’s his jollies out of persecuting the faith community.

But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison, Acts 8:3.

Sometimes the events of every day life can harden hearts.  While some may turn to depression, others can be filled by hatred.  In fact, this may explain Saul’s words in his letter to the church of Ephesus.  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold, Ephesians 4:26-27.  If you want to avoid causing anger to poison your heart, soul and mind, take Saul’s advice.  Just let it go or you too may become unconscious.

by Jay Mankus

 

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