Chapter 28 (Saul and the medium of Endor)
The obvious question by many is, did she really bring up Samuel? The Bible text doesn’t give us any reason to believe this did not happen. So, this incident may have been a onetime allowance made by God. Regardless, we have no reason to believe that a medium can bring up any deceased person as desired. God condemned the practice. Saul’s death happened the day after he consulted the medium of Endor.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12: There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11) or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12) For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.
Isaiah 8:19: And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?
David seems to be a bit between a rock and a hard place… he flees from Saul and ends up in the realm of Achish, King of Gath. David and his 600 men were able to stay there safely for some time, but could have been asked to fight against his own people; thank God that Achish’s men decided they didn’t trust David. David’s road to the throne wasn’t “smooth” and far from ideal, but God would succeed at what He had promised David.
“But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (vrs. 6)
When everything that could go wrong, seemed to go wrong, David “strengthened himself in the LORD.” What does this mean? In chapter 23 Jonathan “strengthened David’s hands” by encouraging him with the truth of what God would do in his life as he stayed patient; he reminded him that he would take the throne one day. Now, David in his darkest hour would need to strengthen himself because everyone around him was angry with him. His decision caused him to get back all that was lost and more. He would also begin to take the throne since Saul had died.
David praises God for delivering him from Saul (and all his enemies), and we see in 2 Samuel chapter 1 that David also writes a song mourning Saul’s death. It is interesting that songs could be written for both aspects of this event.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan