The King and the Witch

Samuel was dead.

Why! Why had Samuel died at this crucial time?

Saul threw a javelin across the valley and roared like a caged lion. He felt





He needed Samuel’s advice. If he could sit a few minutes with him and talk, that would solve all his problems.

In the distance Saul heard the war cry of the Philistine army and again his heart constricted with fear.  The Philistine army had marched for 3 days to make camp in Shunem.

Saul had gathered all his army together, and they camped in Gilboa ready for battle.

Saul knew that Israel was in great danger – these men were fearless murderers ready to eliminate thousands.

Again, the enemies war cry reverberated around him – Saul shuddered and

His legs trembled.

He knew that in a matter of days, he and his army would be only dust.

Where was God when he needed him most? In the past God had spoken to him through visions, through prophets and other means, but now. Where was he?

Saul looked up to heaven and screamed, “God, do you hear me? Where are you? Why are you hiding from me?” He waited.


Saul clenched his fists and waited. In the distance he heard the sharpening of weapons.

Desperation engulfed him and the air was sucked from his lungs.

“No, no.” He mumbled, “I can’t do this. I can’t do this.” He stumbled towards his camp. Fear and fury engulfed him – he wanted to kill someone, something! Anything.

He came to a big rock, sat there to meditate.

All he wanted was for God to tell him what to do and if he would win the battle with the Philistines. Was that too hard for God to answer?

“No one can help me. No one!” He thundered. Oh how he wished he could see the future – if only he had that power.

Suddenly an intruding thought captivated his mind, spreading like poison towards his heart.

Saul looked towards the distance hills and remembered them.

The outcasts, the spiritists, the mediums, the witches.

The ones he himself had banished from Israel for practicing black magic and serving the prince of darkness, the devil.

Saul frowned and scratched his head. What had he been thinking!

They could help him today if they were around.

They could help him!

Abruptly he stood up – new energy surged through his body as he almost leaped back to camp.

Once in his tent he called his two most trusted men servants, when they came in he looked both sides of the camp and then closed the opening of the tent.

He motioned for them to follow him further in. Round eyed, the men looked at each other nervously.

“Yes my king?” Shammah voice trembled.

Saul leaned forward and whispered, “I need you to find me a woman…”

Shammah bowed, “Yes, my lord.”

Saul let out a frustrated cry, “Don’t interrupt!” He barked, “I need you to find me a woman who is a medium – a witch I can consult with.”

Josheb inhaled sharply, “My lord, they have been banished from Israel.”

“I know that!” Saul paced around the room angrily. “I banished them! Now I need one!”

“No one knows where they went my Lord.” Josheb stated wringing his hands.

“My lord,” He said again, “Please forgive what I am about to say. I am just concerned about you and do not want harm to come your way.” He inclined his head.

“Just say it!” Saul said through clenched teeth.

“My Lord, God said, “And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.” (Leviticus 20:6)…”

Saul rolled his eyes, “God? God! Hah!” Saul kicked an animal rugged that decorated the ground. “Where is he when I need him most? There is no God for me!” He stopped pacing and thumped his clenched fist into his hand, “There must be someone I can see!”

Shammah who had been quiet, cleared his throat and stepped forward. He lowered his voice, “My Lord, there is a medium in Endor.” He whispered.

Sauls head snapped up. He moved rapidly towards Shammah, his eyes narrowing. “Are you sure?”

Shammah nodded, “I would never deceive you my Lord. There lives a medium or witch in Endor. She keeps hidden so she isn’t discovered and killed.”

Saul’s eyes rounded and a little smile formed on his lips, “You speak the truth?” He asked again.

Shammah nodded, “As my lord lives.” He said.

Saul rubbed his hands gleefully, “We go tonight!”

The men inclined their heads and waited for Saul to leave the room before they began preparing for the journey.

The sun disappeared slowly behind the hills and finally the moon made its appearance. Saul sighed with relief – soon he would have the answers he needed.

He took off his heavy armour suit and dressed in simple clothes. He then covered himself with a dark cloak to disguise himself and hide as if he was a peasant.

Saul closed his eyes briefly as fear started to take control. He shook his head angrily. He didn’t like the way the Philistines were making him lose his nerve.

“We are ready my lord.” Shammah interrupted his thoughts.

Saul opened his eyes and nodded.

Shammah unfolded a map and placed it on the table.

Saul moved closer to inspect.

He pointed to the hills, rivers and symbols, “Endor is north of the hill of Moreh.” He said.

Saul grunted. He already knew that! But he kept quiet. His spirit was unsettled.

“My Lord we will have to travel very close to the Philistine camp. Right here.” Shammah moved his index finger along the hills.

Saul inhaled. He had been dreading that would be the case.

Shammah continued, “We will travel about 4 miles northeast and then we head straight into Endor. If we do it right, we won’t be detected.”

Saul nodded and finally when his jaw seemed to unlock he spoke gruffly, “We travel by foot.”

“My Lord?” Shammah asked.

“We don’t want to be detected. We travel by foot.” With that Saul grabbed his javelin and headed out the tent.

“Yes my lord.” Shammah said following close behind.

Saul turned to Shammah and Josheb and signal to start the journey.

The thick darkness of the night engulfed the little group of travels. Saul looked toward the murky faint moon, it wasn’t lighting their way as usual. Dark menacing clouds covered the sky – it looked like a storm was brewing in the distance.

Saul hoped it rained; it would help them cross past the Philistines army undetected.

The men continued their trek towards Endor. In the distance thunder rumbled.

Saul glanced at the sky again and shuddered. He felt like he was being watched. A heavy impending gloomed settled in his heart and swamped him.

Was God angry with him?

Another thunder rolled by louder this time. Saul hurried his steps and told the others to hurry along.

In the distance Saul heard the sound of song and laughter. The Phillistines were celebrating early.

Shammah leaned close and whispered, “We head towards that rock and hide there till it’s safe to do so. We will make it alright.”

Saul and Josheb nodded and followed him – everything that Shammah did looked effortless. He was a clever man and would make a great soldier one day. Saul pursed his lips remembering his younger days and the great warrior he was. Only memories of his greatness were left.

They hid behind the rock for what seemed a few hours – finally when all was clear, they continued towards Endor.

Sweat dripped down Saul’s forehead and arms as he hastened out from the hills.

They had walked for hours.

His stomach growled furiously. He hadn’t eaten in hours.

Shammah stopped and pointed, “There it is – that’s where she lives.”

Out of breath and feeling very old and tired, Saul stopped and stared at the little house hidden amongst the thickness of the trees. It was hard to spot there was a house there. If it wasn’t for the soft light glowing from the trees you would miss it.

In the distance an owl hooted and a flash of lighting echoed around them. Soft droplets of rain starting falling  – the rain was coming.

Saul nodded and motioned for Shammah to go ahead and knock.

Shammah knocked on the door and waited.

“Who visits?” A croaky male voice asked.

“Shammah. I’m looking for the medium.”

The door opened slowly and an old man stuck his head out. For a long minute he stared at them – he looked at Saul the longest – traveling his eyes all the way towards him and tilting his head back, trying to recognise him. Saul looked away uncomfortable and covered his head tighter with his cloak.

Satisfied the old man opened the door wider and ushered them in – before closing the door he looked both ways and quickly bolted the heavy door.

The room was dimly lighted, a few soft candles flickered around the room and a misty fog seemed to envelop the room, creating a secret and mysterious mood.   The hair on Saul’s arms prickled and he shuddered. Although the room looked warm, there was a gloomy strange presence living there. Saul felt as if the room was filled with hundreds of eyes watching his every move.

“Wait here.” The old man said before disappearing towards a room.

They waited in silence – the only sound was the rain pelting outside. Thunder rumbled louder and a howling wind rattled the roof. Saul lifted his eyes to the ceiling wondering if the storm would rip it up.

Soon the old man appeared with a woman wearing a dark veil around her head. Long salt and pepper coloured hair cascaded down to her waist.

She moved to the middle of the room and motioned for the group to sit down.

Saul saw her eyes dart back and forth – unsure and afraid.

“What do you want?” She asked staring at them all – her dark eyes resting on Saul. She tilted her head to one side as if studying him – her forehead wrinkling in concentration.

Saul spoke quickly interrupting her scrutiny, “I want you to consult a spirit for me. You need to call up the person I name.”

The woman’s mouth hung open and she almost jumped up from her seat pointing to Saul and his servants.

“You! You have come to set a trap for me!” She yelled.

“No, No!” Saul stood up and shook his head.

“You know what Saul has done. You know he banished us all! Mediums, spiritists are cut from the land.” The woman’s eyes seemed crazed. “Why are you disturbing me?  You want them to kill me, don’t you. Don’t you!” She paced the room in deep anxiety breathing noisily. “Leave! Leave now.” She shouted pointing to the door.

Saul voice thundered, “Enough!”

Everyone in the room seemed to stop breathing.

Saul spoke again calmer this time, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this. I swear!”

The woman stared at them silently and waited.

Outside, the moaning and groaning of the wind shook the little house.

Finally with a shaky breath she finally said, “Who do you want me to bring up from the spirit world?”

“Bring up Samuel.” Saul commanded.

The woman nodded. She closed her eyes, mumbled a few words and then opened her eyes again.

Saul watched in fascination.

The medium began to concentrate. A glassy empty look of vacancy spread across her motionless face. Her breathing changed and she extended her arms as if waiting to embrace someone or something. She seemed to be emptied of herself and it looked as if another person took possession of her body.

Shivers ran up Saul’s spine. Frozen with fear he remained motionless.


The woman appeared to be in a trance looking beyond the room towards something far away.

Saul felt a sudden chill. Something felt wrong. The room felt unnatural and it seemed as it had been altered somehow.

A window on the right was suddenly forced opened and rain and wind gushed through the room. The rain stung his skin like tiny needles.

The old man who had opened the door earlier, came out from the shadows and shut the window with force latching it in place.

The witch remained untouched, unmoved and in a daze.

Suddenly a shrilling filled the room and the woman staggered back, her hands covering her face.

“Why have you deceived me?” Her hollow unfocused eyes searched Saul’s face. “You are Saul!” She screeched.

 “Don’t be afraid.” Saul assured her, “What do you see?”

The woman turned back towards what she was seeing.

She extended her hands as if touching something instead of empty air, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.” Her voice raspy and unnatural – different from her own. She was in utter surrender to what force had taken possession of her body.

Saul’s heart thundered in his chest, “What does he look like?”

The woman looked again a faraway look on her face, “He looks like an old man wearing a robe. He’s coming up. He’s coming up!” Her voice rose with delirium.

Saul could feel the presence enter the room, his flesh tingled and his heart raced wildly.

A fog seem to lift in the room as the woman kept speaking, “It’s him. It’s him.” She shouted. “He looks like the prophet.

Saul let out a cry and fell to the ground and bowed down. His face touching the dirt in reverence.

He had entered the shadowy world of ghostly forms and voices.

“Why have you disturbed me by calling me up?” The spirit asked.

Saul lifted his head and cried, “I am deeply trouble. The Phillistines are making war against me and God has deserted me! He doesn’t answer me anymore by any means. I need you to tell me what to do! I need your help.” Saul sobbed louder.

“Why ask me?” The spirit said, “God has turned away from you and is now on the side of the Philistines.”

Saul looked up his mouth trembling, “No, no that can’t be right.” He said.

The spirit continued talking, “God has ripped the kingdom right out of your hands and given it to your enemies.”

“Why! Why!” Saul demanded slamming his fist on the ground.

“Because you did not obey God. You refused to carry out the things he told you to do.” The spirit paused and then continued, “Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Yes indeed God is giving Israel’s army up to the Philistines. You will die.”

Saul dropped to the ground again like a fallen tree, terrified and trembling from the spirits words. All strength left him and he felt like a dead man.

A heavy gloom and sadness tore through his spirit.

His death was hours away.


Girls, you could be wondering why God didn’t listen to Saul and you might feel sorry for him. But let me tell you a few things about Saul that might give you a different perspective.

  1. In 1 Samuel 22 it tells us that Saul had 85 priests of God killed. You need to read it to find out why – and they weren’t the only ones he had killed – there were children and women too.
  2. Saul detested David and was hunting him like a wild animal to kill him.
  3. Saul became disobedient to God in every possible way – start reading 1 Samuel 9 to get the full story of how he turned away from God.

The reason Saul didn’t hear God anymore was because he had no communication with him anymore. He was an angry, bitter King.

The other part I want to explain to you is that the spirit that the woman called up was not Samuel.

In Ecclesiastes 9:5 it says, “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.”

Psalm 146:4 “When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.

The dead know nothing – Jesus said that they sleep.

Satan was not allowed to disturb the rest of Samuel in the grave – God does not give Satan power to resurrect the dead. But Satan’s angels can take the shape of dead people, speak like them and act like them. You can call them shapeshifter . This spirit took the form of Samuel but it was not Samuel.

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