Today’s reading begins with David once again refusing to take Saul’s life and concludes with David returning to his dwelling among the Philistines rather than going into battle with them.
Even though after David spared his life in the cave and Saul repented, Saul continued pursuing David to kill him. In the reading for today, David again spares Saul’s life. While all of Saul’s cohort slept around him at night, David made his way in secret to the camp and stood by Saul as he slept. Saul had slept with his spear at his head, and David’s guard Abishai asked for permission to take the spear and kill him. David refused to allow Abishai to take Saul’s life and instead the two of them took the spear and the nearby vessel of water and fled. In the morning, David called to Saul and his men and David explained to Saul that once again the LORD had given Saul into his hand. Saul again was remorseful for his pursuit of David and the men separated.
Not long after this, Saul was heading into battle against the Philistines and he was seeking word from the LORD about the battle, but the LORD refused to answer him. Saul became desperate for some sort of supernatural guidance regarding the coming battle with the Philistines, and so in opposition to not only the LORD’s law but also contrary to his own policies as king, Saul sought out a medium to call up the spirit of the now departed Samuel.
The medium of En-dor knew what her services might mean for her life and so she questioned the people soliciting her services. When Saul had approached the medium, he had gone in disguise so as not to be noticed and when the medium hesitated he assured her that no harm would come to her. Saul then asked for the medium to conjure up Samuel for him and when she had done so, she then realized that it was Saul who was with her. Samuel spoke to Saul and asked why it was that Saul had disturbed him and Saul told him that it was because the LORD refused to answer him. Samuel then told Saul that the LORD was carrying through with what He promised when Saul had refused to do to the Amalekites as the LORD commanded.
Although it had taken many years, the LORD was keeping His word to remove power from Saul and with Saul seeking guidance in a way that God considered abhorrent, his departure from the way of the LORD was complete.