Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 28:8 (NIV)
So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”
1 Samuel 28:8 (MSG)
Saul disguised himself by putting on different clothes. Then, taking two men with him, he went under the cover of night to the woman and said, “I want you to consult a ghost for me. Call up the person I name.”
“So Saul disguised himself by wearing different clothes, and he left with two men, and they came to the woman at night. He said to her, “Conjure up for me, please, and bring up [from the dead] for me [the spirit] whom I shall name to you.” -AMPLIFIED
Saul was in dire straits. God was not answering and he decided that instead of making things right with God and patiently waiting on Him he would seek help in another direction. Under the cover of night he and two of his men slink off to consult with the witch of Endor. Once they had covertly arrived at her home Saul asked her to call up someone from the grave for him.
Her response was, “Are you kidding me!” (Tonia’s Translation)
“Don’t you know what Saul has decreed? You should know that he has thrown all the mediums and all others who speak for the dead out of Israel. Why are you asking me to risk my life?” -1 Samuel 28:9 (VOICE)
Saul, who was sweating bullets by now, but pressed on. He swore an oath in the Name of the Lord to the woman. He promised her, ““As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this.” -1 Samuel 28:10 (AMP)
Let us address something, Saul at any point in time could have changed his mind and chose to do the right thing. Sadly, he continued to do the wrong thing. He chose poorly; for he was messing around with sin. He will soon find out that when someone fools with sin there is a hefty price to pay. (He was scared enough already, now he was going to be frightened out of his wits.)
The witch asked him who it was that he desired to speak with. Saul, who was still incognito told her that he desired to speak with Samuel. So the woman began her incarnations and rituals to call up the spirit that was desired. As soon as she saw the spirit she cried out, “Why did you lie to me? You are Saul!” She realized who it was who had come to her door pleading for help.
Saul reassured her that no harm would come to her and urged her to continue with the procedure. Once again he had the perfect opportunity to get out of the situation before it was too late but he choose to continue on. Saul begged her to tell him who it is that she sees. The woman tells him, “I see a divine [superhuman] being coming up from the earth.” -1 Samuel 28:13 (AMP)
Saul asks her, “What does he look like?” And she replied, “It is an old man coming up, wrapped in a robe.” It was then Saul knew that it was Samuel; so he bowed down with his face to the ground to pay respect to Samuel. (Funny thing is Saul had little respect for the living Samuel; so why the great respect to this spirit?)
The spirit asked Saul why he was being disturbed. Saul implored the spirit to tell him what to do because the Philistines had gathered against him and God had turned His back on him. Saul informed the spirit that the whole reason that he had disturbed him was because he needed guidance, advice and help.
The spirit’s response was definitely not the words of encouragement and help that Saul was seeking. “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has left you and has become your enemy? The Lord has done [to you] just as He said through me [when I was with you]; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David. Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover, the Lord will also put Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me [among the dead]. Indeed, the Lord will put the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.” -1 Samuel 28:16-19 (AMP)
Immediately, as soon as the spirit was finished speaking, Saul fell face-first onto the floor. He was completely overcome with fear over the words of prophecy delivered by the spirit. We are also told that he was thoroughly exhausted because he had not eaten all day or night. (We can chalk that up to his extreme fear.)
The witch stooped over Saul and finally understood how full of fear he was. She also saw that he was in need of a good meal; so she offered to feed him. He refused, but with a bit of persuasion from the men with him he finally gave in and ate. (I am sure that meal tasted like sawdust after the message of doom that he had received that night.)
Saul could have learned much from Solomon’s words of wisdom:
“Dear friend, take my advice;
it will add years to your life.
I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way,
I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road.
I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys,
or wasting time making wrong turns.
Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip.
Guard it well—your life is at stake!
Don’t take Wicked Bypass;
don’t so much as set foot on that road.
Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth.
Make a detour and be on your way.” -Proverbs 4:10-15 (MSG)
“One great power of sin is that it blinds men so that they do not recognize its true character.” ~Andrew Murray
“Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open.” ~UNKNOWN
Lord, I do not want to be fooling around with sin. My desire to to be faithful and true to you. Give me the wisdom to by-pass or take a wide berth around anything that is against your will. Help me to guard my heart and mind against things that are displeasing to you. My greatest desire is for you to be pleased and proud of me, Lord. As I seek to live a holy life before you, allow your Holy Spirit to open my eyes to what it is that you desire of me.