Peter Barnes | 1 Samuel 28:3-25
Saul’s Descent Into the Occult
1 Samuel 28:3-25
This is one of the most tragic chapters in the Bible. William Blaikie compares Saul to a crippled vessel at sea.
1. Desperation leads to sin.
– 28:3-5; see Lev.19:31; 20:6, 27; Deut.18:9-14; Isa.8:19-20.
My times are in Thy hand:
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave
Entirely to Thy care.
Saul was in no condition to sing it.
2. God gives over the apostate.
– 28:6; 1 Chron.10:13-14; Ps.66:18. Rom.1:26-27.
– 28:7. Saul is not desperate to know God; he is desperate to know the future.
– 28:10 – Saul takes an oath by Yahweh in order to do something that Yahweh specifically forbids. Calvin and Luther both say that this was a spectre of the devil; but Dale Ralph Davis maintains that it actually was Samuel. Hitler and Goebbels were both into the occult.
– 28:15-19 is the death sentence. Note 1 Sam.15:23; 1 Cor.10:11.
3. Yet some common grace remains.
– 28:21-25, but the result reminds us of Judas – John 13:30.