If this is your first viewing, please see my Introduction before reading this.
3 April. 1 Samuel chapters 28-31
The end of the first book of Samuel is set after the death of the eponymous prophet, but we haven’t heard the last of him yet! King Saul, seeking wise advice, misses Samuel, and in the absence of any other form of guidance from God, resorts to consulting the medium at Endor (in older translations she was called a “witch”) to summon up his spirit, a practice which Saul himself, under Samuel’s guidance, had banned! So not surprisingly the advice he does get from Samuel’s ghost is basically “I told you so!”, or more specifically, that God’s destiny for Saul that Samuel had already prophesied will come true, and David will succeed him as king. At the end of the book, Saul does indeed die, committing suicide rather than be killed in battle. The lesson from this is that God really is our only guide. While it is understandable that people who have lost (or never had) faith in God might look to the spirits instead, they will never know the truth as he does. There are good reasons why God’s followers in all the major religions have been at least suspicious of mediums and other occultists, for although we believe in the afterlife, the consistent message of scripture is that the dead should be left to God’s mercy and not summoned back to this life.
Meanwhile David, a typical mercenary, would be happy to fight for the Philistines against his own people Israel in order to claim the crown, but the Philistine generals will have none of it. However, in returning to his base David finds that another tribe, Amalekites, have carried off all the people and animals, and he has to go and rescue them. What adventures! Is this turncoat warrior really fit to be king? We shall see, in 2 Samuel.