Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
March 30 Scripture Selection: I Samuel 28-29
Food for Thought: I Sam. 28:4-19; 29:1-4
Today’s passages have “sprained many brains.” Could it be true that the medium really brought back Samuel to speak to Saul? And did David really defect to the Philistines and plan to fight along side them against his fellow Hebrews? How can that be, knowing what we know about David?! Let us explore today possible explanations of what seem to be contradictions. Our readers are certainly encouraged to chime in.
As we contemplate the answers, it is vital that we also keep them in context with what we know of the rest of the Word of God. Regarding mediums, the Word says in Leviticus 19:31, “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” And the Lord says in Leviticus 20:6, “And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.” (That certainly happened to Saul!) Was Saul really speaking to Samuel? I doubt it. In Luke 16:19-31 where Jesus tells the story of the rich man in hell and Lazarus the beggar in paradise, and the rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool his tongue, Abraham responds, “… between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.” The spirits of the dead cannot roam about freely.
And though what was said was true, God would not have endorsed sending Samuel under such conditions. The spirit of Samuel could never be subject to a medium. Could it be that the familiar, deceptive spirit (demon) took on the appearance of Samuel and was compelled to prophesy, just as Saul was, along with others, in I Samuel 10? It seems similar to the case of the girl who possessed a spirit of divination who followed Paul and Silas around saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” What she said was true, but it was annoying after so many days of it and interfered with the ministry, so Paul cast the demon out of her (Acts 16:16-18).
And what about David? Would he really have been capable of going up against his own people when at other times he’d fought to protect them? David had many tricks up his sleeves, and perhaps this was just one of them. Remember how he faked insanity in I Samuel 21:12-15? Or was this one of David’s slips in judgment? (He did have others, after all.) We’ll never know how it would have turned out because the Lord intervened and had king Achish sent David and his troops away from the battle field. But one has to wonder…
Well, what do you think about these questions? Your take on these passages is very welcome. And our brains could use your input.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):