Summary: This is an important topic with the interest in the occult and witchcraft that is all around us today.
Do You Believe in Ghosts?
In this passage, Saul is coming to the end of his rope. He is self-destructing and the book of 1 Samuel is basically the story of God’s choice to put David on the throne, as well as Saul’s choice to remove him from God’s protection. So, in a nutshell, 1 Samuel could be described as the rise of David, and the fall of Saul.
I am about to read to you the account of the final straw that breaks Saul’s back. Saul pays a visit to a medium—one who claims to consult with the dead. And while this passage is not focused on the subject of the spirit world, we can certainly learn some things about the subject.
It is no secret that a growing number of people are becoming engrossed in various forms of magic, spiritism, astrology, witchcraft, and sorcery. Disney studios, with all its animated cartoons often depicts of the use magic. Growing up, I watched the Smurfs. Do you remember the Smurfs? These miniature blue creatures were hated by the evil sorcerer, Gargamel. He was always looking in his books for some magical potion that would destroy those little tiny critters.
We all know about the Ouija board, a game of communicating with the dark spirit realm. This game has surpassed Monopoly as the top selling board game on the market. I think you can get one at most toy stores. Just look at the video games that your kids are playing. Many of them involve wizards, witches, spells, violence, and evil characters. Have you noticed the number of TV shows that involve the spirit world…the occult…or magic? They are on every channel.
Have you noticed that it is now cool to be a Wiccan….or a Wiccan witch in our culture. I got online to see how to spell Wiccan and found a school, found sites that will teach how to do spells, how to get into witchcraft. Parents, many of the books for our younger children include what are called spirit guides…normally animal characters who are you child’s friend….this is the introduction that many of our kids are getting in Kindergarten and 1st grade. I challenge you to be involved in what your kids are reading. I’m not against fairy tales and the use of our imagination, that’s what makes reading so awesome, but we need to be careful….because Satan’s plan is to condition our children to be open to the occult at an early age.
Today, they are called “Channelers”, or Spirit Guides and they act as intermediaries or mediums in the spirit realm. Astrology is everywhere today. Millions of people follow the teachings of various astrologers. Many will not go to work in the morning unless they have read their horoscope in the morning paper.
I want to be absolutely clear this morning….there are only two sources, two sides in the spirit realm…You have God and the angels, and then you have Satan and his fallen angels…demons. The Bible is clear that Satan and his demonic forces will take on all kinds of forms to deceive us, to make us think they are harmless, to desensitize us to the truth that these demonic forces want to destroy us. So this morning the question is…who are you inviting into your life, into your home, into your family?
Before I read, let me set the context. David is still on the run from King Saul, but King Saul’s days are coming to a close. The Philistines, Goliath’s family, are pressing in on Saul, and he is in a state of panic.
The Philistines have assembled at Shunem, which Bible scholars tell us was a very flat land. Israelites fought best in the hills because they did not have the advantage of chariots, but this battle was going to happen on smooth terrain and Saul knows that death knocks at his door. This will be a bloody defeat and he is in panic mode. What do people do when they are in panic mode? They get desperate. Watch this man self-destruct…
Read 1 Samuel 25:3-20.
A missionary from Africa tells a story of a follower of Mohammed who became a follower of Jesus. Some of his friends asked him, “Why have you become a Christian?” He answered, “Well, it’s like this. Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly it forked in two directions, and you didn’t know which way to go, and there at the fork in the road were two men, one was lying dead and the other standing alive—which one would you ask which way to go?”
In the text that I just read to you, Saul has done the unthinkable. He no longer has the ear of the Living God so he disguises himself and breaks his own law in order to consult with a dead man. And so he goes to see this medium, and he knows this is wrong. The Bible says in v.9 that Saul had cut off the mediums and spiritists, yet he now seeks the advice of one. Now it’s important to notice why he did that. Look what verse 6 says…