1 Samuel 28:1-7

1 Now it came about in those days that the Philistines gathered their armed camps for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Know for certain that you will go out with me in the camp, you and your men.”

2 David said to Achish, “Very well, you will learn what your servant can do.” So Achish said to David, “Then I will assuredly make you my bodyguard for life!”

3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from the land.

4 So the Philistines assembled and came and camped in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they camped in Gilboa.

5 When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly.

6 So Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him, either in dreams, or by the Urim, or by the prophets.

7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Find for me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor.”

Two Heroes with Problems


In today’s passage, we see two heroes who should have been living honorably, both engaging in regrettable actions. The ultimate cause is a lack of trust in God. (1) David has left the Promised Land and sought refuge under Achish, the king of Gath. At this time, David’s life lacked consistency. (2) And as anticipated, a serious situation arises. The Philistines are gearing up for a full-scale battle against Israel. Achish commands David to accompany the Philistine army. If David refuses, his life would be at risk. However, he can never fight against Israel. David finds himself caught in a dilemma. (3) To buy time, he gives vague responses. However, Achish interprets David’s answers in a way favorable to him and appoints David as the head of his bodyguard.


Before moving forward, let’s look at the timeline. Here, the events are not arranged in chronological order. The verses 28:3-25 are an insert and should actually come just before Chapter 31. Verses 28:1-2 connects to 29:1. (1) The Philistines gather at Shunem, located about 19 miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee, and Saul sets up his camp on Mount Gilboa to the south of Shunem, to protect himself from chariot attacks. (2) Seeing the enemy camp, Saul is filled with fear. Since Samuel had already died, Saul had no one to consult in the face of this crisis. (3) So, he inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him either in dreams, or by the Urim, or by the prophets. The Lord remained silent. (4) Saul had once expelled mediums from the land because they were prohibited by the Law of Moses (ref. Levi. 19:31, Deut. 18:10–11). Yet now, Saul seeks to hear the voice of the Lord through a medium. He then was informed that there is one in Endor, further north of Shunem. No matter the person, even a hero can end up in a miserable state when they depart from faith. What can you learn from this? Let’s continue to walk steadfastly in faith today.

Today's prayer

Heavenly Father, without faith it is impossible to please You. Please let me walk by faith today. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.