18 Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”
1 Samuel 28:18-19
Here we are thirteen chapters after we first read about Saul’s disobedience of God’s directions against the Amalekites where Saul is finding out what his immediate future entails. Saul’s army – Israel’s army – will be defeated by the Philistines’ army and he and his sons will be dead, joining Samuel in death.
What was the occasion for Samuel to announce such prophecies against Saul? After Samuel had died and been buried (v3)
4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. 7 Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.” “There is one in Endor,” they said.
1 Samuel 28:4-7
Saul was afraid and God was not answering his inquires. God was silent. Samuel was dead and buried. So what did Saul do? He went looking for a medium, someone who could speak to the dead. The medium was successful, Samuel arose as a ghostly figure whereupon Saul prostrated himself with his face to the ground. Then
15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”
“I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”
16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? 17 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. 18 Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today.
1 Samuel 28:15-18
God’s judgment has come and will soon be delivered as noted in our verses of the day. Not only will the army of Israel defeated and Saul and his sons killed, but Israel will be delivered into the hands of the Philistines. Thus Saul not only brought ruin upon himself and his sons, but upon Israel as well. Today it is common to hear, when discussing sin, what I am doing is only hurting myself, so what I do is really no one else’s business. That is if they are even willing to recognize what they are doing is a sin.
Seldom are such people in positions that they can affect the lives of many like Saul, but they do affect others, loved ones, relatives (parents, siblings, and beyond), friends, and co-workers whether they know it or not, whether they acknowledge it or not. Many of us have seen it in families or friends who fell under the spell of alcohol or other drugs and the resultant pain beyond the individual.
Saul had an opportunity to repent and beg forgiveness from God after seeing Samuel (which by the way was a great sin, calling up the dead). We are not told if he did or did not. Seldom does anyone know their fate as Saul knew his, but nonetheless many have seen the dead-end of their life choices and turned their lives around with help from God and loved ones. With repentance and forgiveness their lives are renewed and those around them rejoice with them.
Pray for those caught up in such disobedience with the hope they will see God’s wonderful mercy and turn from the sins they are caught up in before their last day.