1 Samuel 28: Saul’s Depraved Mind Thinks Speaking to the Dead will be Helpful

Have you ever delved in the occult? I have. Back in high school and college I was all into astrology. Some friends and I even played with a Ouija Board. At that age, we wanted to know what our futures held. Would we get married? Would we be rich and get to travel? Now that I am a born again Christian believer, anything having to do with the occult totally disgusts me. Including Halloween.

As the story of King Saul starts to come to an end, we find him so desperate that he does what he knows is totally against God’s laws. We learned this way back in Deuteronomy 18:9-14. God wants us to TRUST HIM. He wants us to SEEK HIS WILL for our lives. Not Saul. He knew better, but his mind was so twisted, he was so lost, he was so far from God, that he turned to witchcraft. Let’s dig in….

1 Samuel 28 – Saul and the Witch

About that time the Philistines mustered their armies for another war with Israel. King Achish told David, “You and your men will be expected to join me in battle.”

“Very well!” David agreed. “Now you will see for yourself what we can do.”

Then Achish told David, “I will make you my personal bodyguard for life.”

Meanwhile, Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him. He was buried in Ramah, his hometown. And Saul had banned from the land of Israel all mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead.

The Philistines set up their camp at Shunem, and Saul gathered all the army of Israel and camped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear. He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots or by the prophets. Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.”

His advisers replied, “There is a medium at Endor.”

So Saul disguised himself by wearing ordinary clothing instead of his royal robes. Then he went to the woman’s home at night, accompanied by two of his men.

“I have to talk to a man who has died,” he said. “Will you call up his spirit for me?”

“Are you trying to get me killed?” the woman demanded. “You know that Saul has outlawed all the mediums and all who consult the spirits of the dead. Why are you setting a trap for me?”

10 But Saul took an oath in the name of the Lord and promised, “As surely as the Lord lives, nothing bad will happen to you for doing this.”

11 Finally, the woman said, “Well, whose spirit do you want me to call up?”

“Call up Samuel,” Saul replied.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, “You’ve deceived me! You are Saul!”

13 “Don’t be afraid!” the king told her. “What do you see?”

“I see a god (spirit) coming up out of the earth,” she said.

14 “What does he look like?” Saul asked.

“He is an old man wrapped in a robe (mantel),” she replied. Saul realized it was Samuel, and he fell to the ground before him.

15 “Why have you disturbed me by calling me back?” Samuel asked Saul.

“Because I am in deep trouble,” Saul replied. “The Philistines are at war with me, and God has left me and won’t reply by prophets or dreams. So I have called for you to tell me what to do.”

16 But Samuel replied, “Why ask me, since the Lord has left you and has become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done just as he said he would. He has torn the kingdom from you and given it to your rival, David. 18 The Lord has done this to you today because you refused to carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites. 19 What’s more, the Lord will hand you and the army of Israel over to the Philistines tomorrow, and you and your sons will be here with me. The Lord will bring down the entire army of Israel in defeat.”

20 Saul fell full length on the ground, paralyzed with fright because of Samuel’s words. He was also faint with hunger, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night.

21 When the woman saw how distraught he was, she said, “Sir, I obeyed your command at the risk of my life. 22 Now do what I say, and let me give you a little something to eat so you can regain your strength for the trip back.”

23 But Saul refused to eat anything. Then his advisers joined the woman in urging him to eat, so he finally yielded and got up from the ground and sat on the couch.

24 The woman had been fattening a calf, so she hurried out and killed it. She took some flour, kneaded it into dough and baked unleavened bread. 25 She brought the meal to Saul and his advisers, and they ate it. Then they went out into the night.

1 Samuel 28 NLT

Points to Ponder

Saul is lost because…

  1. He disobeyed a direct order from God.
  2. God removed His Spirit from him.
  3. He rejected God’s Word.

Look at the depths of the depravity to which Saul sank. Have you ever felt that desperate that you’d try anything? Have you tried humbling yourself and talking to God?

Notice that the witch didn’t call Samuel. God brought him up. She screamed in fright because it was not the kind of apparition she was used to seeing. Understand that anything dealing with the occult is of Satan. (And that includes Halloween!)

So, if you want to know what’s going to happen in the future, it’s very simple — Read the Bible! God tells us exactly what’s going to happen…

Where was Samuel?

One thing’s for sure, Samuel wasn’t in purgatory because it doesn’t exist! Obviously, he wasn’t in Heaven because he came up from the earth. He was resting and Saul interrupted his rest. He wasn’t in hell because he was a man of God. Yes, he was dead, but he was in a place the Hebrews call Sheol. Now, I’m going to defer to an expert in the Old Testament and a beautiful video shot on location at the Dead Sea. In it, Amir Tsarfati, of Behold Israel, explains where the Old Testament “saints” went when they died. I’ve cued it up to where he starts talking about Samuel, but I encourage you to watch the whole thing. It’s fascinating, along with incredible views of the Dead Sea…..

The Dead See

  • Amir reads from Luke 16.
  • He quotes a Messianic Psalm…

10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead (Sheol)
    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.

Psalm 16:10 NLT

No matter how you look at it, we all will die.
Where your soul ends up is up to you!

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Top image by Curtis and Pip Reid of Bible Pathway Adventures from FreeBibleImages.org

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

5 thoughts on “1 Samuel 28: Saul’s Depraved Mind Thinks Speaking to the Dead will be Helpful”

  1. Why does Jesus need to die taking our sin? I can’t believe, “have faith”, until i understand fully this fully!
    Why do I need to repent if Jesus died because of our sin? I can’t understand this logic completely.

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