1 Samuel 28

1Later the Philistines gathered their armies to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “Do you understand that you and your men must go with me to fight ˻against Israel˼?” 2David answered, “Certainly! Then you can see for yourself what I can do!” Achish said, “Fine, I’ll make you my bodyguard. You will protect me forever.” 3After Samuel died, all the people of Israel showed their sadness. Then they buried Samuel in Ramah, his home town. Saul had removed the mediums and fortune tellers from Israel. 4The Philistines prepared for war. They came to Shunem and made their camp at that place. Saul gathered all the Israelites and made his camp at Gilboa. 5Saul saw the Philistine army, and he was scared. His heart pounded with fear. 6Saul prayed to the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him. God did not talk to Saul in dreams. God did not use the Urim to give him an answer. And God did not use prophets to speak to Saul. 7Finally, Saul said to his officers, “Find me a woman who is a medium. Then I can go ask her what will happen ˻in this war˼.” His officers answered, “There is a medium at Endor.” 8Saul put on different clothes so no one would know who he was. That night Saul and two of his men went to see the woman. Saul said ˻to the woman˼, “I want you to bring up a ghost who can tell me what will happen in the future. You must call for the ghost of the person I name.” 9But the woman said to Saul, “You know what Saul did! He has forced all of the mediums and fortune tellers to leave the land of Israel. You are trying to trap me and kill me.” 10Saul used the Lord’s name to make a promise to the woman. He said, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for doing this.” 11The woman asked, “Who do you want me to bring up for you?” Saul answered, “Bring up Samuel.” 12˻And it happened!˼ The woman saw Samuel and screamed loudly. She said to Saul, “You tricked me! You are Saul.” 13The king said to the woman, “Don’t be afraid! What do you see?” The woman said, “I see a spirit coming up out of the ground.” 14Saul asked, “What does he look like?” The woman answered, “He looks like an old man wearing a special robe.” Then Saul knew it was Samuel. Saul bowed down. His face touched the ground. 15Samuel said to Saul, “Why did you bother me? Why did you bring me up?” Saul answered, “I am in trouble! The Philistines have come to fight against me, and God left me. God won’t answer me any more. He won’t use prophets or dreams to answer me. That’s why I called you. I want you to tell me what to do!” 16Samuel said, “The Lord left you. Now he is with your neighbor ˻(David)˼. So why are you bothering me? 17The Lord used me to tell you what he would do. And now the Lord is doing what he said he would do! The Lord is pulling the kingdom from your hands. And he is giving the kingdom to one of your neighbors. That neighbor is David. 18You did not obey the Lord. You did not destroy the Amalekites and show them how angry the Lord was at them. That is why the Lord is doing this to you today. 19The Lord will let the Philistines defeat you and the army of Israel today. And tomorrow, you and your sons will be here with me!” 20Saul quickly fell to the ground and lay there. Saul was afraid because of the things Samuel said. Saul was also very weak because he did not eat any food all that day and night. 21The woman came to Saul. She saw Saul was really scared. She said, “Look, I am your servant. I have obeyed you. I risked my life and did what you told me to do. 22Now please listen to me. Let me give you some food. You must eat. Then you will have enough strength to go on your way.” 23But Saul refused. He said, “I won’t eat.” Saul’s officers joined the woman and begged him to eat. Finally, Saul listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24The woman had a fat calf at the house. She quickly killed the calf. She took some flour and pressed it with her hands. Then she baked some bread without yeast. 25The woman put the food before Saul and his officers. Saul and his officers ate. Then that same night they got up and left.

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