Saul and the Medium of Endor
Saul is in a desperate situation. The Philistines have gathered a great army again and are planning to attack Israel. Saul no longer has a connection with God, he doesn't have the spirit of God on him, the prophets will not talk to him and he gets no results with Urim (yes and no stones). Even though Saul had attempted to put out the mediums and wizards out of Israel some remained. In fact his advisors were influenced by Satan which is what persuaded Saul to not keep God's Word, he let the influences of the world ruin his relationship with God. By this time Saul is not thinking straight and is greatly afraid. He asks his advisors to find a woman with a familiar spirit so that he may get guidance. Satan has so influenced him that he rejects God once again by seeking counsel from a medium. He is essentially going to Satan for help. Satan has influenced him to cause the destruction of Saul, his sons and the people of Israel. If he can destroy Israel he will have destroyed the Christ line.
I Samuel 28
:8 And Saul disguised himself,
and put on other raiment,
and he went,
and two men with him,
and they came to the woman by night: and he said,
I pray thee,
divine unto me by the familiar spirit,
and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
We must remember that Saul stands head and shoulders above any man in Israel. How is he going to disguise his height?
:9 And the woman said unto him,
Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done,
how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits,
and the wizards, out of the land:
wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life,
to cause me to die?
Satan has so dulled this woman's mind that she doesn't recognize who stands before her-Saul is head and shoulders taller than any one in Israel!
:10 And Saul sware to her by the LORD,
As the LORD liveth,
there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
Here is another clue as to who is standing before the woman, only the king can pardon someone from a royal decree. She still doesn't recognize him.
:11 Then said the woman,
Whom shall I bring up unto thee?
And he said,
Bring me up Samuel.
God's Word has told us that when a person dies they are dead, in the grave, when one dies there are no thoughts, no knowing, no more rewards, no memory, no love, hatred or envy, nor any part in anything that happens under the sun, no work, no intelligence, no knowledge or wisdom in the grave. When one dies they are in a continuing state of death waiting for the return of Christ or the resurrections. So who is this Samuel? Familiar spirits are devil spirits and are so called because they are familiar with what has transpired in the past. They know what has happened in Saul's and Samuel's life. Satan has manipulated Saul and orchestrated this whole situation and Saul let him . Familiar spirits impersonate dead people. It is another trick to get God's people to doubt His Word.
:12 And when the woman saw Samuel,
she cried with a loud voice:
and the woman spake to Saul, saying,
Why hast thou deceived me?
for thou art Saul.
The devil spirit had to tell this woman that Saul sat before her.
:13 And the king said unto her,
Be not afraid:
for what sawest thou?
And the woman said unto Saul,
I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
:14 And he said unto her,
What form is he of?
And she said,
An old man cometh up;
and he is covered with a mantle.
And Saul perceived that it was Samuel,
and he stooped with his face to the ground,
and bowed himself.
Satan is familiar with the facts in the senses world, he knew how Samuel dressed, acted and talked to the point that a devil spirit could impersonate Samuel and tricked Saul into believing that he was talking to him. This is the height of Satan's deception. Satan always produces a counterfeit to deceive. If you were a crook and printing money you would have to get very close to pass it off as genuine. The familiar spirits get very close to impersonate Saul so as to deceive him.
:15 And Samuel said to Saul, [the devil spirit through the
medium talked to Saul]
Why hast thou disquieted me,
to bring me up?
And Saul answered,
I am sore distressed;
for the Philistines make war against me,
and God is departed from me,
and answereth me no more,
neither by prophets,
nor by dreams:
therefore I have called thee,
that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
:16 Then said Samuel, [the familiar spirit through the medium]
Wherefore then dost thou ask of me,
seeing the LORD is departed from thee,
and is become thine enemy?
:17 And the LORD hath done to him,
as he spake by me:
for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand,
and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:
:18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD,
nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek,
therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.
[the devil spirits know God's Word and what He has said also]
:19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines:
and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me:
the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
This is not a prediction of what is going to happen in the future (only God knows the future), but a prediction of what Satan is intending to do to Saul. Because Saul no longer is obedient to God he will fall right into his plan. Also, the familiar spirit says that Saul will be with him, this is the original lie "thou shalt not die". Satan lured Saul off the Word with subtle counterfeits to the point where he can blatantly propound lies and Saul will believe him. Also, where is the profit in this 'revelation'? When God tells us something there is a profit. Here Satan is telling Saul what he is going to do to him. This is not characteristic of Godly revelation.
:20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth,
and was sore afraid,
because of the words of Samuel: [the familiar spirit]
and there was no strength in him;
for he had eaten no bread all the day,
nor all the night.
Saul and his sons; Jonathan, Abinadab and Melchishua went to battle up against the Philistines (I Samuel 31 and I Chronicles 10) and lost their lives.
I Chronicles 10
:13 So Saul died for his transgression
which he committed against the LORD,
even against the word of the LORD,
which he kept not,
and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit,
to enquire of it;
:14 And enquired not of the LORD:
therefore he slew him, [Satan slew him, see Idiom of Permission]
and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
In addition to learning the truth about death and that we await the glorious return of our living lord and saviour Christ Jesus another important principle is brought to light; guard the Word in our hearts. If Saul would have refused to listen to his own vanity, pride and ego and humbled himself to God and His Word this would not have happened. Not there is nothing wrong with a bit of vanity, pride and ego it keeps us taking care of ourselves, our heads held up and proud of who we are and what we stand for. But in excess it will ruin anyone, even God's anointed.
It is important to guard the Word in our hearts, read it daily or listen to tapes or hear teachings or fellowship with like minded Believers. Do what it takes to keep putting the rightly divided Word in your head so that it resides firmly in your heart.
Look at few verses in Psalms regarding the word keep--shamar; a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to. The words in bold are this word shamar to guard like putting a hedge of thorns around (it). There are 440 occurrences I won't list them all.
:6 The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
:7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
He will guard and preserve His Words.
18:21 For I have
the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
18:23 I was also upright before him,
and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
37:28 For the LORD loveth
and forsaketh not his saints;
they are preserved for ever:
but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
37:34 Wait on the LORD,
and keep his way,
and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:
when the wicked are cut off,
thou shalt see it.
39:1 I said, I will take
to my ways,
that I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a bridle,
while the wicked is before me.
41:2 The LORD will
and keep him alive;
and he shall be blessed upon the earth:
and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
:2 I will say of the LORD,
He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
[figure of speech anthropopathea--attributing to God earthly
characteristics--drawing you attention to the passage]
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
:6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side,
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.
:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
:9 Because thou hast made the LORD,
which is my refuge,
even the most High,
:10 There shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
God guards--puts a hedge around--His Word which is why we have it today. Think about it; the books of Moses are over 3450 years old and we still have copies of them. Most men's writings have disappeared.
We need to guard, put a hedge around ourselves to keep us from iniquity, keep His ways, guard our speech, guard the Word in our lives and we shall be preserved and blessed upon the earth.