Did Saul Inquire of the Lord? 1 Samuel 28:6 and 1 Chronicles 10:14


Did Saul inquire of the Lord? 1 Samuel 28:6 and 1 Chronicles 10:14. Don’t these texts disagree with one another?


1 Samuel 28:6 He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.

1 Chronicles 10:14 and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

There are two different Hebrew words - shaal and darash - being used here for inquire. In the Samuel passage shaal, meaning to ask or consult, is used (Strong's 7591). It refers to any kind of inquiry of a more or less casual nature. However, 1 Chronicles uses the Hebrew word darash, meaning to search for, resort to, or seek after (Strong's 1874). There is something much more intense about it; there is a persistence or earnestness about it.

Earnest inquiry of the Lord was not the norm for Saul. As compared to David, Saul was not a man after God's own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). He merely acknowledged God and was without intimacy expressed in an intense Abba Father relationship (Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 4:5-6). He was not like Jesus in the Garden who said, "Abba, Father" (Mark 14:36). Psalm 1:1-2 states, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." Note the intensity, earnestness, and persistence in "meditates day and night." The psalmist's picture is first of a godly relationship who, because of this relationship, is a godly person who frequents and who treads habitually in the counsel of the Lord, and who purposely avoids all influences of a contrary kind.

So, Saul did not genuinely seek after the Lord in 1 Samuel. Saul in his depravity, substituted mere ritual for real inquiry.

Reader, what about you? How are you REALLY seeking the Lord? Do you merely inquire like King Saul? Or are you like King David and King Jesus? Are your prayers ritual or genuine? Are you sincere? May Abba Father give us grace!

Related Answer:

Sacrifice or no sacrifice

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).