If you’ve been with me a while, you most likely know where I’m going with this lesson from 1 Samuel.
As a psych. major, I used to laugh at the fortune tellers and “spiritual advisors” who hang ad shingles out front of their houses.
One of my favorite memes was: “Why do you never see headlines; ‘Fortune teller wins lottery?’”
But, when we look at the sad numbers of people (even in America) who believe these people can change their lives, it’s really sad.
The story of Saul in chapter 28 is sad too.
Even though we developed a “hate” relationship with Saul for the way he pursued and treated David, it’s disheartening when a person falls completely away from God.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Read the verses first — then, you’ll come to your own conclusions of how powerful God is…
The Witch of Endor Foretells Saul’s Future – Not What He Expected!
“Now it came about in those days that the Philistines gathered their armed camps for war, to fight against Israel.
And Achish said to David, “Know for certain that you will go out with me in the camp, you and your men.”
David said to Achish, “Very well, you will learn what your servant can do.”
So Achish said to David, “Then I will assuredly make you my bodyguard for life!”
Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned him and buried him in Ramah, his own city.
And Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from the land.
So the Philistines assembled and came and camped in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they camped in Gilboa.
When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly.
So Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him, either in dreams, or by the Urim, or by the prophets.
Then Saul said to his servants, “Find for me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go to her and inquire of her.”
And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor.”
Then Saul disguised himself by putting on different clothes, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night; and he said, “Consult the spirit for me, please, and bring up for me the one whom I shall name for you.”
But the woman said to him, “Behold, you know what Saul has done, that he has eliminated the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you then setting a trap for my life, to bring about my death?”
So Saul swore an oath to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.”
Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”
And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”
When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”
But the king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?”
And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up from the earth.”
He said to her, “How does he appear?”
And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.” Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.
And Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”
Saul replied, “I am very distressed, for the Philistines are waging war against me, and God has abandoned me and no longer answers me, either through prophets or in dreams; therefore I have called you, so that you may let me know what I should do.”
Samuel said, “But why ask me, since the Lord has abandoned you and has become your enemy?
And the Lord has done just as He spoke through me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom from your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David.
Just as you did not obey the Lord and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the Lord has done this thing to you this day.
Furthermore, the Lord will also hand Israel along with you over to the Philistines; so tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.
Indeed, the Lord will hand the army of Israel over to the Philistines!”
Then Saul immediately fell full length to the ground and was very afraid because of Samuel’s words; there was no strength in him either, because he had eaten no food all day and all night.
The woman came to Saul and saw that he was utterly horrified, and she said to him, “Behold, your servant has obeyed you, and I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to your words which you spoke to me.
So now you too, please listen to the voice of your servant, and let me serve you a piece of bread, and eat it, so that you will have strength when you go on your way.”
But he refused and said, “I will not eat.” However, his servants together with the woman urged him, and he listened to them. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed.
Now the woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly slaughtered it; then she took flour, kneaded it and baked unleavened bread from it.
She then served it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they got up and left that night.” – 1 Samuel 28
David Agrees to Fight against Israel — WHAT?
Just to keep this short, David had no choice but to agree when Achish requested him to help the Philistines.
If he refused, his cover would have been given away.
Saved by the Philistines..
Fortunately, David did not have to fight the people he loved.
Except for Achish, most Philistine leaders did not want David to join them in battle.
So, through this intervention (and with God’s protection), the scenario never came about.
“What You Do Speaks So Loudly…
… I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” ~ Zig Ziglar
This quote came to mind when I studied for this Bible lesson about the witch of Endor.
Yes, Saul banned witches and sorcerers from practicing in Israel.
Yet, when trouble arose, he turned to a witch instead of God.
You see, Saul “did away” with evil in the land — but not in his heart.
Are We Like Saul?
I am guilty. And, I believe we all are to some extent.
Truth be known, we can talk about sins of others and proclaim how disgusting or offensive they are.
But, what about our own sins? Do you have a flaw which haunts you — coming back time after time?
Sorry if I struck a nerve but, sin is in our human nature.
Most of us fight this sin for a good portion of our lives. We pray and repent. Then, without warning it sneaks back in.
The Good News is…
Even with our human frailty and weakness, Christ is strong.
He died on the cross, rose again in three days so our failings could be forgiven — and forgotten!
“For I will be merciful toward their wrongdoings, And their sins I will no longer remember.” – Hebrews 8:12
This verse from Hebrews gives us hope.
Another that comes to mind is the assurance that God protects us from sorcerers, witches and mediums.
“and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” – John 10:28
These are promises from God. Jesus fulfilled His Word.
Even if you don’t believe these people have any powers, it’s still better to keep clear of them.
As Christians, it’s better to pray for them and ask God to change their minds and their hearts.
Love in Christ,
If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16 here.