Tragic! The people demanded to have a king like the other nations. God told them that they would suffer under a king, but instead to trust him. The people insisted and God relented. Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel, who struggled with obedience during his uneven reign. He relied on Samuel the prophet to be God’s mouthpiece. Unfortunately, he did not kill all of the Amalekites, removing God’s blessings from his kingdom.
Saul tried to kill David, the next king, on multiple occasions as he allowed hate to fester. Saul reveals his well of despair in 1 Samuel 28.
5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.
6 And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
Saul is full of fear and his access to the Lord is cut off.
7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
Since the Lord is unavailable, then Saul turns from the true God to an agent of Satan.
8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on another raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
He masks his identity to cover his visit to the witch.
9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
She reminds him that King Saul kills witches and wizards. Why should she risk her life?
10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up, Samuel.
Saul visits a witch to conjure up Samuel to hear from the true God. Saul is desperate to hear from God.
12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
The deception is up. The witch conjures Samuel and then realizes that the man is king Saul, the killer of witches.
Hearing from God is vital. Saul is a shattered man and king at this juncture.
Never take for granted the privilege of being a Son of God with power. Saul exemplifies against walking away from God while trusting in our own strength. God wants the best for you and will not forsake you.