35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Saul had abandoned God and as a result, God abandons Saul.
Someone once said that we have two options which determine our eternal destiny. Either we say to God, “your will be done” or God says to us “your will be done.” The result of the former is that we conform to God’s will and accept the provision he has made for us. The result of the latter is that God allows us to go our own way and live as if God does not exist. One leads to eternal blessing, the other to eternal damnation.
Paul speaks of this in Romans 1 where he repeats the phrase, “God gave them over.” This is what happened to Saul in the passage quoted above. God determined to let Saul alone and Samuel no longer came to Saul with a word from the LORD.
We do not have to look very hard in this media rich culture to see examples of people that have gone their own way, flaunting their rejection of God, yet living a lifestyle that is the envy of many. They seem to have everything going their way and have money and fame. These have sought to be free from God and God has granted them their desire – for a time.
Contrast these to saints through the ages who have sought self denial and spiritual discipline and yet have suffered at the hands of their fellow men.
How does it work out in God’s economy that those who reject him prosper and those who earnestly seek God earn suffering as their wages? Jesus tells us that those who mourn are the ones that are truly blessed. To have the prophetic voice in our ears and the pointing finger in our face is not enjoyable, but it is necessary for our relationship with God to deepen. The largest benefit of the reading of Scripture is that it shows us our deficiencies and teaches us to rely on God for our growth.
Like Saul, I have a choice to be open to the prophetic voice and repent when I am busted, or I can reject it and go on my merry way. The danger in the latter is that God eventually stops sending prophets.