SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Verses 1-2: David, who was from and truly loyal to Israel, had taken sanctuary in Philistine. The Philistines believed he had switched sides. Their king, Achish, demands that David fight with them against Israel. David pretends he's willing to do so.
- Saul had expelled the mediums (verse 3) because God had made it clear that witchcraft and trying to consult with the dead was wrong and not to be practiced. (See Leviticus 19:26; 19:31; 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Galatians 5:19-21).
- There are different opinions on what happened with the medium. Perhaps, because of the situation and the lesson Saul needed to learn, God allowed the spirit of Samuel to appear and speak to the woman. Or maybe the woman had use of some kind of evil spirit that helped her. Or maybe the woman didn't really see or hear from Samuel, but was tricking Saul into thinking she did. Whatever the case, the woman gives Saul a harrowing message that puts him in a state of total fear.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We see Saul going to God as a last resort. That may be better than nothing, but what is much better is going to God first. Always seeking him and his wisdom for life. That will help prevent us from getting into desperate situations where we use God as a last ditch cry for help.
- Saul had removed witchcraft from his nation, but not from his heart. When his circumstances became desperate, he turned back to what he knew was sin. In the same way, we need to do more than just "externally" removing sin from our lives. We need to understand God's heart and why He forbids it, and to truly repent of that sin from our hearts so that we won't return to it.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What situation in your life requires wisdom and direction from God right now? Have you been seeking God, or trying to do it on your own? Will you go to God now, rather than waiting till you're desperate? And what might it look like for you to get God's wisdom and direction?
- Is there an old sin in your life that you have stopped committing (or are trying to stop committing) but it's not because you want to stop, it's because you were told to? (By God, or the Bible, or a Christian pastor or friend.) How could you better understand why God doesn't want you to do it, so you truly repent of it from your heart?