1 Samuel 28* Achish puts confidence in David, Saul's fear. (1-6) Saulconsults a witch at Endor. (7-19) Saul's terror. (20-25)1-6 David could not refuse Achish without danger. If hepromised assistance, and then stood neuter, or went over to theIsraelites, he would behave with ingratitude and treachery. Ifhe fought against Israel, he would sin greatly. It seemedimpossible that he should get out of this difficulty with aclear conscience; but his evasive answer, intended to gain time,was not consistent with the character of an Israelite indeed.Troubles are terrors to the children of disobedience. In hisdistress, Saul inquired of the Lord. He did not seek in faith,but with a double, unstable mind. Saul had put the law in forceagainst those that had familiar spirits, #Ex 22:18|. Many seemzealous against, sin, when they are any way hurt by it, who haveno concern for the glory of God, nor any dislike of sin as sin.Many seem enemies to sin in others, while they indulge it inthemselves. Saul will drive the devil out of his kingdom, yetharbours him in his heart by envy and malice. How foolish toconsult those whom, according to God's law, he had endeavouredto root out! 7-19 When we go from the plain path of duty, every thing drawsus further aside, and increases our perplexity and temptation.Saul desires the woman to bring one from the dead, with whom hewished to speak; this was expressly forbidden, #De 18:11|. Allreal or pretended witchcraft or conjuration, is a malicious oran ignorant attempt to gain knowledge or help from somecreature, when it cannot be had from the Lord in the path ofduty. While Samuel was living, we never read of Saul's going toadvise with him in any difficulties; it had been well for him ifhe had. But now he is dead, "Bring me up Samuel." Many whodespise and persecute God's saints and ministers when living,would be glad to have them again, when they are gone. The wholeshows that it was no human fraud or trick. Though the womancould not cause Samuel's being sent, yet Saul's inquiry might bethe occasion of it. The woman's surprise and terror proved thatit was an unusual and unexpected appearance. Saul had despisedSamuel's solemn warnings in his lifetime, yet now that he hoped,as in defiance of God, to obtain some counsel and encouragementfrom him, might not God permit the soul of his departed prophetto appear to Saul, to confirm his former sentence, and denouncehis doom? The expression, "Thou and thy sons shall be with me,"means no more than that they shall be in the eternal world.There appears much solemnity in God's permitting the soul of adeparted prophet to come as a witness from heaven, to confirmthe word he had spoken on earth. 20-25 Those that expect any good counsel or comfort, otherwisethan from God, and in the way of his institutions, will be aswretchedly disappointed as Saul. Though terrified even todespair, he was not humbled. He confessed not his sins, offeredno sacrifices, and presented no supplications. He does not seemto have cared about his sons or his people, or to have attemptedany escape; but in sullen despair he rushed upon his doom. Godsets up a few such beacons, to warn men not to stifleconvictions, or despise his word. But while one repentingthought remains, let no sinner suppose himself in this case. Lethim humble himself before God, determined to live and diebeseeching his favour, and he will succeed.
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