The Witch of Endor – Theology Essay
She wasn’t an ugly old hag, as many would characterize those involved in the dark side. Her cunning and cautious demeanor had enabled her to survive these many years. She now lived in fear and poverty. No longer could she openly ply her trade as a medium, the renown with of Endor. King Saul of Israel had seen to that.
Saul had put to death hundreds of witches and wizards. Could she help it if she had the ‘gift’? she reasoned. “Saul is just jealous of my power. He claims to be the enforcer of God’s law.” She was disgusted with the constant preaching and quoting of scriptures such as Deuteronomy 18:9-12 and Leviticus 19:31. “Why, they are just a bunch of hypocritical, archaic priests!” she would tell her fearful customers who forsook her practice. But for now, she lived in obscurity and utmost secrecy.
One dark night a tall stooped figure, dressed in tattered and faded clothes walked through the shadows of the words in the pouring rain, until he found the ramshackle hut of the witch of Endor. A streak of lightening illuminated his haggard face and red bleary eyes, as he knocked on the thick wooden door. The door finally creaked open and the tall stranger and his companions entered the small hut.
The old woman had a sense of foreboding when the stranger asked her to divine by the familiar spirit and bring up an individual from the dead whom he must hear from. “Just name your price,” he added. She quickly sensed danger and insisted that the men were trying to lay a trap for her so they could put her to death. But the men assured her that no harm would come to her if she would do this favor for them.
The medium asked whom they wanted her to bring up. “Bring up Samuel the prophet,” he replied. When the woman saw Samuel appear, she shrieked with a loud voice and her hair stood on end as she began to shake uncontrollably. The woman realized that the tall man was King Saul, who had deceived her. Saul asked the woman what Samuel had to say to him.
God had sent the prophet Samuel back from the dead to give one last message to Saul. When King Saul herd the message conveyed by Samuel to the medium, he shook with fear and fell to the floor in a faint. When Samuel prophesied of Saul’s tragic death, the witch of Endor knew that this was no mere demon from the dark side impersonating Samuel. No! This really was Samuel! (See I Samuel 18:3-25.)
Why would King Saul resort to inquiring of the witch of Endor – a medium? Had he not ordered anyone who consorted with mediums, witches, or wizards to be put to death along with them? Saul had unwittingly become involved in witchcraft long before he went to the witch of Endor. When he blatantly disobeyed God in the valley of Amalek, Saul was already committing witchcraft. The prophet Samuel was sent by God to confront Saul at Gilgal and give him a message from God. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams. For REBELLION IS AS THE SIN OF WITCHCRAFT” (I Samuel 15:22-23).
If you are living in rebellion and disobedience to God, you are involved in witchcraft according to God. Surprisingly there are some who call themselves Christians and attend church but who are committing the sin of witchcraft. They are living in rebellion against God and those in authority. A witch does not necessarily dress in black and wear a pointed hat or do magic by wiggling her nose. Witchcraft is seeking to manipulate or control events, people, or the future by evil spirits. But rebellion against God’s Word is like this sin in that both involve rejection of God’s lordship and an attempt to determine the outcome of things in a manner other than God’s way. Both sins take you out from under God’s protection and put you under the destructive power of Satan and evil spirits. Those who refuse to repent of the sins of witchcraft and rebellion will not inherit the kingdom of God. (See Galatians 5:20-21.)
Saul went to the witch because he could no longer hear God’s voice. Being out of fellowship with God is a miserable place to be. Saul was lost because he sought the witchcraft of disobedience instead of God’s way. What is God’s way?
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NLT). The fact that Jesus is the only way to heaven is not popular in our age of “all faiths lead to the same place” way of thinking. Some argue that “one way” is too narrow. In reality, it is wide enough for all who believe. When standing at a great chasm and wishing to get to the other side, you don’t demand that a bridge be where you are. Instead you travel to the bridge, the only bridge, a few miles away, but you’re grateful there is a bridge and that there is a way to cross. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. His perfect and precious blood paid the debt we owed. He was raised from the dead for our justification before a holy God. Witchcraft is not the way. Jesus is the way – follow him. Jesus is the truth – believe Him. Jesus is life – live in him. There is no other way to the Father and his house.
“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-10).