1 Samuel 28

Talks for Growing Christians

King Saul and the Witch of Endor

1 Samuel 28

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Lesson Number 32

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Spirit mediums cannot contact departed spirits.
  2. Spirit mediums are under God’s sovereign control.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t turn to the occult when God doesn’t answer.


  1. In the previous chapter, David fled to the Philistine King Achish for protection from King Saul. What consequence do we see for his lack of faith?
  2. Meanwhile, what dilemma is King Saul facing?
  3. Why would the Lord not answer Saul (verse 6)?
  4. When Samuel appeared to King Saul and the witch, was it really Samuel or a spirit that took on his appearance?
  5. What message did God lead Samuel to give Saul?


  1. David is expected to go with Achish in battle against Israel, David’s own people. Achish makes David his personal body guard, so he can keep his eye on him!
  2. Saul was frightened by the Philistine threat, and the Lord would not answer Saul’s request for direction. So Saul turned to the world of the occult in order to get some kind of answer.
  3. Because Saul had turned away from the Lord and was unwilling to obey him.
  4. In this case we believe it was really Samuel. This is why the woman was so surprised as well. Usually mediums contact demonic spirits that can mimic the voice and appearance of the dead person.
  5. That the kingdom would be taken from Saul and given to David. The following day Saul and his sons would join Samuel in death.


  1. David’s lack of faith put him in an awful dilemma in this chapter. Recall a time when you faced a dilemma because of a previous lack of faith. Did you continue in your unfaithfulness, or was the dilemma a motivation to get back on track with God?
  2. Occult practices are extremely popular in our society today through the entertainment media. Discuss the potential dangers of viewing the occult as entertainment. Discuss what boundaries you have set for yourself and your family in this regard. Read 1 John 4:4.


  1. Has it ever felt like God is not listening to you and doesn’t care? Don’t turn to the occult in this situation. There are many reasons why God may be silent, but it is not because He doesn’t care.

Key Verses

  • “Achish said to David, ‘You assuredly know that you will go out with me to battle, you and your men.’” 1 Samuel 28:1
  • “For the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David.” 1 Samuel 28:17

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