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David spares Saul again then lives with the Philistines, who then attack Israel but refuse David’s help; in desperation, Saul consults a witch for help but gets no good news; and a psalm: 1 Samuel 26–27:7; 1 Chronicles 12:1–7; 1 Samuel 27:8–29:11; 1 Chronicles 12:19; Psalm 56

Saul was in trouble: he was facing the Philistine army without any support from God. Desperate, he consulted a medium and called Samuel back from the dead, only to hear:

1 Samuel 16-19 … the Lord has left you and has become your enemy? The Lord has done just as he said he would. He has torn the kingdom from you and given it to your rival, David. The Lord has done this to you today because you refused to carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites. What’s more, the Lord will hand you and the army of Israel over to the Philistines tomorrow, and you and your sons will be here with me. The Lord will bring down the entire army of Israel in defeat.

You could have a big theological argument over whether it really was Samuel’s ghost, or a spirit only being allowed to impersonate Samuel and say what God permitted: there was nothing said that Saul didn’t already know or fear.

Either way, who would want to go into battle have been told of the certain defeat to come?

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