Reading through the Bible together

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Go to previous reading  1 Samuel 28  Go to next reading

The Bible

Bible Blog

With  King Saul no longer pursuing David, the Philistines took advantage of this and marched into the country at the Plain of Esdraelon.  When Saul finally mustered his men to meet the Philistines, he was dismayed at the strength or their army and his own weakness.  Getting no divine guidance, not by dreams, nor Urim, nor prophets, in desperation he sought a spirit medium.


God gave him no encouragement or direction for the coming battle, because having killed the priests, refusing to obey  the word of the Lord through Samuel, and pursuing David, nearly filled his cup of iniquity.  The climax came the night he went to the witch of Endor.  As commanded by the Lord in Deut. 18:9-14, Saul had decreed that all witches, spirit mediums, diviners, necromancers, and all who practiced sorcery, should be executed or expelled from the kingdom. But now he seeks one of the very people he had condemned! 


Disguising himself, with two helpers he sneaked across the battle lines to the dark home of the witch.   She objected because she would risk death if she did her incantations, but Saul swore (by the Lord!) that she would not be punished.   He asked her to bring up Samuel (whom he did not obey in life), and she said she saw an old man wearing a robe.  Saul concluded it was Samuel, although only the woman saw him.


The message of this spirit that looked like Samuel was true for the most part, but the spirit lied when it said, “Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.”  It was devilishly structured to throw Saul into despair.  There was no hope, no help, no encouragement.  Saul collapsed on the floor of the witch’s cave and revived enough to eat only at the urging of the witch and his two helpers.  The words of the spirit became a self-fulfilling prophecy.


The ancient warnings against spirit mediums and any who seek information from the dead are still true today. The dead are dead.  Anyone who seeks information from them, whether by Ouija boards. Horoscopes, or spiritists of any kind, is really talking with demons.  Our safety lies only in seeking wisdom from God


Ralph Neall

Retired Professor and Missionary