Saul’s Death Draws Near

Scripture Passage: 
1 Samuel 28:1-25; 1 Samuel 29:1-11

INTRODUCTION: Saul never submits to doing things God’s way. In this lesson, he disobeys Deuteronomy 18:9-12 and seeks the help of a witch. This lesson should act as a warning against witchcraft and related abominations.

  1. SAUL SEEKS THE WITCH OF ENDOR (1 Samuel 28:1-14)
    1. Achish’s Confidence in David (1 Samuel 28:1-2)
      1. The Philistines gather together to fight with Israel (1 Samuel 28:1).
      2. Achish makes sure that David will be going out with him to battle (1 Samuel 28:1).
      3. Achish, knowing David’s abilities, entrusts his life in the hands of David (1 Samuel 28:2).
    2. The Philistines Gather for Battle (1 Samuel 28:3-4).
      1. Saul has purged the land of witchcraft (1 Samuel 28:3; Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
        1. He put away those that had familiar spirits.
        2. He put away the wizards.
      2. The Philistines gather in Shunem and the Israelites gather in Gilboa (1 Samuel 28:4).
    3. Saul Rejected by the Lord (1 Samuel 28:5-6)
      1. Saul is afraid and his heart greatly trembles because of the Philistines (1 Samuel 28:5).
      2. Saul enquires of the Lord (1 Samuel 28:6).
      3. The Lord does not answer Saul (1 Samuel 28:6).
        1. Not by dreams
        2. Not by Urim
        3. Not by prophets
    4. Saul Goes to the Witch (1 Samuel 28:7-10).
      1. His information (1 Samuel 28:7)
        1. Saul tells his servants to seek out a woman that had a familiar spirit that he could enquire of her.
        2. His servants tell him of a woman that has a familiar spirit at En-dor.
      2. His disguise (1 Samuel 28:8)
        1. Saul puts on other raiment.
        2. He takes two men with him.
        3. They come to the woman by night.
        4. Saul asks the woman to divine unto him.
          1. By the familiar spirit
          2. Bringing up the person that he shall name
      3. His promise (1 Samuel 28:9-10)
        1. The woman fears for her life (1 Samuel 28:9).
        2. She does not recognize Saul (1 Samuel 28:9).
        3. Saul assures her that there will be no punishment for her actions (1 Samuel 28:10).
    5. Samuel Ascends to Meet Saul (1 Samuel 28:11-14).
      1. The witch’s fear (1 Samuel 28:11-12)
        1. The woman asks whom she is to bring up (1 Samuel 28:11).
        2. Saul tells her to bring up Samuel (1 Samuel 28:11).
        3. The woman fears (1 Samuel 28:12).
          1. She cries with a loud voice when she sees Samuel.
          2. She knows that it is Saul with whom she is dealing.
      2. The witch’s vision (1 Samuel 28:13-14)
        1. The woman says she sees gods ascending out of the earth (1 Samuel 28:13).
        2. She describes the form of the person she sees (1 Samuel 28:14).
          1. He is an old man.
          2. He is covered with a mantle.
        3. Saul perceives that it is Samuel (1 Samuel 28:14).
        4. Note: The spirit that appeared to Saul must have really been Samuel. Not only was his prophecy fulfilled, but the text refers to the spirit as Samuel several times (1 Samuel 28:15, 16, 20). This was not the witch’s familiar spirit with whom she usually dealt. God intervened in her normal procedure to fulfill His own will.
  2. SAMUEL SPEAKS TO SAUL (1 Samuel 28:15-25)
    1. Samuel’s Message (1 Samuel 28:15-19)
      1. Saul’s request (1 Samuel 28:15)
        1. Samuel asks Saul why he was brought up.
        2. Saul describes his dilemma.
          1. He is sore distressed.
          2. The Philistines make war against him.
          3. God is departed from him.
      2. Saul’s rejection (1 Samuel 28:16-18)
        1. Samuel once again questions Saul’s motive (1 Samuel 28:16).
        2. Samuel reminds Saul that the Lord is doing what He had promised to do (1 Samuel 28:17).
          1. He is rending the kingdom from Saul.
          2. He is giving it to David.
        3. Samuel reminds Saul of the reasons for his problems (1 Samuel 28:18).
          1. He did not obey the voice of the Lord.
          2. He did not execute God’s wrath upon Amalek.
      3. Saul’s death (1 Samuel 28:19)
        1. Samuel tells Saul of the Philistines victory.
        2. Samuel tells Saul that he and his sons will be with him (Samuel) the next day.
        3. Does this mean that Saul is going to paradise with Samuel or is Samuel just suggesting that he would be dead?
          1. Saul and his sons will be with Samuel by the next day.
          2. Samuel was evidently in Abraham's bosom (as was Lazarus in Luke 16:22-23).
          3. Everything about Jonathan, one of Saul's sons, points to him personally knowing the Lord.
          4. Samuel states that Saul and his sons would be with him--that is, where Samuel was. The phrase "with me" is just too strong.
    2. Saul’s Reaction (1 Samuel 28:20-25)
      1. Saul’s fear (1 Samuel 28:20)
      2. Saul’s fast (1 Samuel 28:21-23)
      3. Saul’s meal (1 Samuel 28:24-25)
  3. THE PHILISTINES REJECT DAVID (1 Samuel 29:1-11)
    1. The Philistines Refuse David (1 Samuel 29:1-5).
      1. Their review of David (1 Samuel 29:1-2)
      2. Their rejection of David (1 Samuel 29:3-5)
    2. David Leaves in the Morning (1 Samuel 29:6-11).
      1. The praise of Achish (1 Samuel 29:6-7)
      2. The protest of David (1 Samuel 29:8-9)
      3. The departure of David (1 Samuel 29:10-11)

CONCLUSION: This lesson is the final nail in Saul’s coffin. Saul is already on his way out, but now he adds to his wrong doings by visiting the witch at Endor. When Samuel is called up, he reminds Saul of his end and informs him that it will be tomorrow.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 19:10

Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.