In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Understand that you and your men are to go out with me in the army.” David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”
Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”
Comment: There are several things mentioned in these seven verses which greatly influence what is going to happen in the future,
- Another Philistine-Israeli war is brewing. David has put himself where the Gath King Achish can expect David to fight against his own people. Is David’s answer to Achish as simple as it is taken? After all he was capable of killing Goliath of Gath! (“Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.”) We’ll have to see what happens.
- Samuel the prophet, on whom Saul had relied in the past, is dead – so who can Saul trust for advice directly from God? Saul had got rid of the magical soothsayers and those who claimed to be able to talk to the dead.
- Saul was terrified when he saw the army he was facing but God didn’t answer him when Saul tried to find out God’s desire. (Possibly he tried through the travelling prophets or the priests in the worship places).
- Saul sought out one of those whom he had expelled, but he guessed that some of them were still in the land. He was told of such a ‘medium’ in En-dor.
Prayer: Life is complex, but help me to be honest and pure in my heart as I make difficult decisions, O Lord.