We've been studying an unusual story in our Bibles; it is the story of a king who consulted a psychic! Let's get back to our study!
King Saul had found a fake. We can tell this because verse 12 of our passage in I Samuel 28 says:
When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”Why was she so surprised? Seriously! She was shocked to see Samuel "called up from the dead." Because she was a fake, and she had never actually talked to the dead before.
The woman of Endor couldn't have talked to the dead because the Bible tells us more than once that when a person dies, they don't come back.
Contrary to what we may see in popular movies, there's no floating around here on earth, after death.
(Hebrews 9:27)There's no visiting or communicating with the living. Remember when Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus? Both men died, and Lazarus was brought to heaven -- the rich man was escorted to hell. It was such a terrible place to be that the rich man called out to Father Abraham, asking him to send Lazarus to warn his brothers. He wanted them to change their lives and not end up in hell. Here is Abraham's answer:
....between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us. (Luke 16:26)I think we can safely say that the dead do not return, they're not allowed to. This only happened because God caused Saul to "see" Samuel at this time. The only one who actually saw a figure was the woman - hence, her shock. Saul heard the prophecy, but didn't see anything because he prostrated himself on the ground in shock and fear.
Well, you may be thinking, why is it such a big deal if we know this occult stuff is fake? Why would God not like it if I look at the horoscope in the daily news? What's the harm in sitting around a Ouija board, giggling and poking fun at the "answers" to our questions? Why does God say he hates these things (Deuteronomy 18:12)?
I believe that the problem with all of these things is that Satan can use them to gain control of our thoughts and use them to manipulate our decisions. These things can change our views of ourselves, and influence how we view our future -- whether minutes from now or years from now.
And we have the best alternative ever!
There are many, many examples of people who have a huge knowledge of horoscopes, etc and depend upon that to guide their paths each day. There are people who consult psychics and tarot cards, and many other means of "knowing" the future. The danger of the occult is that we begin to put faith in these predictions that we read or hear.
But God says He is a jealous God. He wants to be the One Who shapes our future, for He has awesome plans for us! He wants to be the Master of our lives, and shower us with grace. Jesus told us that we can't have two masters; it just doesn't work.
We will either look to God for answers about our futures, or to look to the occult. King Saul had a huge problem with that. Over and over again, he had tried to serve two masters. He had tried to always be in control of his future. He would go along for a while trying to serve God, but when things got a little uncomfortable, or didn't seem to be going the way he preferred, Saul would put God back out of the picture and try to control things himself. This was the first time he had consulted the occult, but it's just another in a long line of incidents where he had disobeyed God. He had rebelled against God routinely -- and rejected His authority.
That is what we are doing when we dabble in the occult. Let's stay away from that stuff!
We'll finish our study of the woman of Endor tomorrow.