Saul wanted to find someone who would help him to contact the spirit of a dead person. People try to do that in many false regions, but God hates such practices (Deuteronomy 18:10-13). They are completely against Godís law.
At one time, Saul himself had hated such practices. He had forced everyone that did such things out of Israel. By that action, he would have hoped to gain Godís support for his (Saulís) plans. However, Saul did not want to do what God considers to be right. Instead, Saul was trying to be strong and powerful, and that needed Godís support.
Probably very few people who carried out such practices had managed to keep their activities secret. The woman in Endor was very worried about the fact that Saul had discovered her.
She did not of course know that her visitor was Saul. Saul did not want anyone to recognise him. For that reason, he was wearing the clothes of an ordinary man, and not his royal clothes. To get to Endor, he had to go round the back of his enemiesí camp. He went by night; he took just two men with him to act as his guards.
At first, the woman refused to help him. It was too dangerous to contact spirits now, she said. She had managed to stay in Israel; she did not want to risk her life. She believed that the king might order her death. So, she insisted that she would not help her visitor.
That forced Saul to make a serious promise to her. He promised, in front of God, that nobody would punish her. It seems extraordinary that Saul actually used Godís name in order to carry out such a wicked act. He himself declared that God lives always. Then he carried out an act that God hates. It was very wrong for Saul to do such things.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.