1 Samuel 26-28: The Witch

Devotionals > Old Testament > 1 Samuel > 1 Samuel 26-28: The Witch

1 Samuel 26-28: The Witch

May 12, 2024


1 Samuel 26-28,  Psalm 106:1-23,  Mark 13:1-13,  2 Corinthians 11:1-15 

1 Samuel 26-28:

The great denouement is coming—and it will not be a pretty sight. First, David again spares Saul’s life (26:5-12). When he has the chance to kill him, he does not, and Saul once more blesses David and says that David will be successful (26:25). 

Nonetheless, David begins to despair that he will ever fully escape from Saul (27:1). And so David makes the radical decision to go live with the enemies of Israel and seek their protection (27:1-2). He makes apparent peace with Achish at Gath (27:5-7), though actually David uses his time there to continue to pursue armed aggression against the enemies of Israel (27:8-12). David is hiding in the land of the enemies, to seek protection from the king who is out for his own blood, while at the same time secretly attacking the enemies. It is, for sure, a dangerous game. 

Meanwhile, the Philistines gather for war against Israel (28:1). Saul is terrified (28:5), characteristically, frightened, frightened, frightened. Saul’s fear of man goes throughout this passage (28:20-21), and he is contrasted with David. God is not answering Saul (28:6), so in the kind of perverse logic that only a very spiritually blind person could make, he looks to hear from God through a witch (28:7-8). The witch of Endor apparently conjures up Samuel (28:11-14); she is so scared, as if she is absolutely surprised that this time it actually worked (28:12)! Her witchcraft did not make Samuel appear, but God sovereignly allowed this last message from God’s prophet to be given to Saul. Saul will die, and soon (28:19). Saul is now truly terrified (28:20-21), and in a morbid, horrible moment, he is given a sort of last supper of the underworld served by a witch (28:22-25). This is the extremity to which the Lord’s anointed has come. 

Seek the Lord while he may be found (Is. 55:6); turn from your wicked ways and hide yourself in him. He is merciful and kind. Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened (Matt. 7:7). Those who by persistent refusal to listen to God can end up eating at the feet of the witch. 


Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.


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