The Book of 1 Samuel shares a ghost story that needs to be considered during this time of the year. The prophet Samuel is dead. King Saul was inquiring of the Lord and God was not answering Saul through dreams, nor Urim, nor prophets. So Saul surrenders to self-will and sins by seeking a medium. (1 Samuel 28:3-25) The Bible is clear, “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” (1 Samuel 19:31) A warning to us all, mankind will justify anything, when they are not in fellowship with the Lord and hungry for spiritual fulfillment. Not only does Saul sin by seeking a medium, he promises protection for the woman so she will continue to sin by participating in an séance (1 Samuel 28:10) that is clearly against God’s will for mankind. (1 Chronicles 10:13; Leviticus 19:31)
King Saul asked the medium to call up the spirit of Samuel, a true prophet of God of whom the Bible says, “God let none of Samuel’s words [fall] to the ground.” “All of Israel attested Samuel as a prophet of the Lord… [God] revealed Himself to Samuel through His Word.” (1 Samuel 3:19-21) As the séance continues, the medium says, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth…” (1 Samuel 28:13) As we read the Biblical account, the Hebrew text says. 1.) The medium in fact “…saw Samuel.” (1 Samuel 28:12) 2.) “Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed me by brining me up?” (1 Samuel 28:15) 3.) We read that Samuel’s role and message is that of a true prophet of God, which was his calling.
“Samuel said, ‘Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has turned away from you and become your enemy? The Lord has done what He predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out His fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. The Lord will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me [dead]. The Lord will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines.’ Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words.” (1 Samuel 28: 16-20)
It is imperative that we understand that no medium has the power or skill to disturb a saint outside the of the will of God. We should also take note, the message Saul received was not a pleasant one. There is a scary truth found in the whole of Scripture, be careful what we ask for, God might give us just what we ask, it may not be the message we want to hear.
King Saul represents the many who find themselves in deep distress because of their unwillingness to obey God’s Word, so they seek other means to find spiritual direction and satisfaction. In this Biblical account, Saul ask Samuel what he should do. (1 Samuel 28:15) It should be noted, the prophet Samuel ignores Saul’s question and moves to the consequences of continued walking in sin and the seeking of spiritual knowledge outside of God’s prescribed method, which is through obedience to Him.
Truths to this ghost story: 1.) Walk in obedience to the whole counsel of God’s Word. 2.) Living according to self-will as Saul did, invokes the chastisements of God 3.) Seek God’s direction in His prescribed way. 4.) The consequences of sin affects not just you, but those around you as well. Walk in a healthy fear of the Lord!