Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Who Was Speaking-Samuel or Satan?

O. T. #656  "Who Was Speaking-Samuel or Satan?"
December 15, 2015
1 Samuel 28-Part 2
Do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD.  Deuteronomy 18:9-14


The Philistine army was about to go to war against the Israelites. King Saul was scared to death, almost; he was at his wits end; he was frantic with fear(NLT); he trembled violently (LASB). This man who was a bully toward David now has the tables turned on him. Saul asked the LORD what he should do-fight or retreat, but He did not answer for Saul had disobeyed God. Evil had entered into Saul's life.

Since God was no longer speaking to Saul, he turned to Satan in desperation. (J. Vernon McGee)

Saul disguised himself and sought an answer from a witch. There are various opinions to the answer to the question, "Who is speaking to Saul?"  Was it actually Samuel who spoke to Saul from the dead, was the witch a ventriloquist and a fraud, or was it a demon?

At first I thought it really was Samuel, and God caused such a thing to occur, since He is all powerful. But then, as I read several commentaries, I tend to agree with them, in that the witch had common information as others around the region. (The Philistines knew David was an Israelite, in
1 Chronicles 12:19.) She probably contacted an evil spirit who came in the form of Samuel.

In Deuteronomy 18:9-14, God instructed the Israelites to have nothing to do with the pagan customs of using divination, witches, fortune telling, etc. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD.

Therefore, Saul's seeking advice through the use of a witch was not tolerated by God. We will read about it later.

Falwell said that Saul's desperate consultation of the medium rather than seeking God was one of the reasons why God killed him. His stubbornness was habitual and chronic. We cannot believe that God would need to communicate with Saul by means of this pagan practice which He condemned. All this information was common knowledge among the Philistines.

Who do we seek when we want answers as to which direction we should go or how we should make a decision? We should only seek God, wait for His answers if they do not immediately come, not evil sources. Christians have been warned as well as Israel.


J. Vernon McGee, in his Thru The Bible Commentary Series, First and Second Samuel, explains:
When the witch told Saul that she saw gods ascending out of the ground, supernatural creatures came up. Saul did not see them, only the witch. When she described the old man covered with a mantle, they jumped to the conclusion it was Samuel. when they did, he answered as Samuel-because demons can impersonate. Saul has laid himself wide open for Satan, and Satan has moved in.
What happens next?
  • The Samuel character asked Saul why he brought him there. 
  • Saul explained that he was distress, the Philistines were making war against him, God departed from him and would not answer him, not by prophets  nor by dreams, so he called Samuel so he could know what he should do.(verse 15)
  • This Samuel ghost repeated to Saul what the Prophet Samuel had told him earlier-God has torn the kingdom from Saul and given it to his rival David.
  • Also, because Saul did not obey the Lord and kill  the Amalekites, He will deliver Israel into the land of the Philistines, as well as tomorrow Saul and his son would die (be with him).
This is nothing new for Saul to hear. Before Samuel's death, he pronounced the death, destruction, and rejection of Saul. Well, going to all this trouble, sneaking around at night to visit the witch, did not gain him any comfort, direction, or new news. He seemed to accept his soon-to-be death. We do not read anywhere about Saul trying to change God's mind.

So who was speaking as Samuel to Saul with the witch there? Guess we will have to ask Samuel when we get to heaven where he resides.

McGee believed it was an impersonation by a false spirit rather than Samuel who appeared. God no longer spoke to Saul. Worse still, Saul no longer spoke to God. The dead cannot communicate with the living. This was satanic from beginning to end.

The only exception was Jesus Christ who came back from the dead at His resurrection. He holds the keys of the grave and of death. Read Revelation 1:17-18.

So, if anyone wants to communicate with the spirit world, remember that information comes from hell and not from heaven. The devil is the father of lies. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. If we want information, go to Jesus. He holds the future. Although He sometimes reveals His will to come, He may not tell us when it will happen. On the other hand, He may choose not to reveal our future to us.  Either way, He wants us to walk by faith, not by sight.

When we find out God's will for us to follow in our future, obey it.


Seek God's will and ways and obey them.

Learn His Word and warnings.

Stay way from evil practices.

Seek to please God.

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