“Witch” Way to Go?
Scripture reading for March 25th: 1st Samuel 27-31
Occasionally we think we would like to contact those who have gone on before us who were special influences in our lives. Parents, grandparents and spiritual leaders all make lasting impressions on us and when gone, leave us with a deep feeling of loss. God has told us in His word, however, not to seek contact with those who have gone on. (Leviticus 19:31) God Himself is the only one we are to seek for counsel and direction.
Near the end of his time as king of Israel, Saul was under the influence of an evil spirit. As the Philistine army gathered to attack Israel, Saul was filled with fear and insecurity! (1st Samuel 28:4-7) (1st Samuel 16:14-16) Saul had been anointed by the Lord to lead the nation, but chose a path of self-will that brought the evil spirit into his life.
Samuel, Saul’s spiritual adviser, was dead. Saul had given a command to remove all mediums from Israel but when God would not answer his prayers, he sought insight into his future from a medium. Disguising himself, Saul went to a medium in Endor, and asked her to bring up Samuel from the dead! She reluctantly complied and God allowed Saul to see a spirit who looked like Samuel. Samuel’s spirit told Saul that he and his sons would soon join him and that God would fulfill Samuel’s words. (1st Samuel 28:16-19)
This is one of those passages that causes us some difficulty. Here we have God forbidding the use of mediums and yet allowing this medium to actually bring up Samuel or a spirit that looks like him. If this were an evil spirit imitating Samuel, it spoke the truth! According to Jesus, the devil and evil spirits can only lie! (John 8:44) The best we can understand this is that God meets people where they are and often does things in ways we don’t fully understand.
The truth of the matter at hand is that God’s people are to wait upon Him for answers. Rebellion proved to be Saul’s ultimate downfall again at the end. We should learn from our mistakes and listen to God’s word! “For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:23)