The first time I heard the saying “Don’t doubt in the darkness what God has told you in the light.” It seemed so profound. But I was in college and hadn’t taken very many steps into darkness. Since then I’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death. So have some of the people I love dearly. And I’ve learned that God is sometimes silent.
When I’m in trouble and I don’t know what to do about it, or can’t do anything about it, and God isn’t talking to me, what can I do?
Saul was in that situation. So he turned to an advisor who had always spoken for God. The problem was that Samuel was dead. Saul risked the forbidden to ask him for advice. He couldn’t claim ignorance either, because he had outlawed it himself. Saul was desperate because God wouldn’t talk to him through prophets or dreams.
But Saul had the word God had spoken before. God had already told him what to do and Saul had disobeyed. After being made aware of his disobedience he hadn’t repented, and now God was punishing Saul as He had said He would.
Saul had one option. Repent and submit. Instead he went looking for help in forbidden ways.
It makes me wonder if God is always as silent as He seems when I’m in the dark places. For one thing, I have His word and if I read it faithfully, I will be fully aware of what He wants. So the question is not what I should do when God is silent, or why God is silent. A better question would be:
When God spoke in the past, how did I respond?
Saul was unfaithful to God; he failed to obey God’s command and didn’t turn to God for guidance. I must recognize when I’m unfaithful, repent and ask God for guidance and then obey Him. Then maybe the dark places won’t seem so empty. In fact, God will comfort me there. After all:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (KJV)