1 Samuel 28


1 And it happened in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for war, to fight with Israel. And Achish said to David, You will definitely go out with me to battle, you and your men. 2 And David said to Achish, Surely you will know what your servant can do. And Achish said to David, I will make you my personal bodyguard forever.


  • Achish called David to fight against Israel, his own people, the people over whom God has anointed David king.


3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him, and buried him in Ramah, in his own city. And Saul had banned those that had familiar spirits (mediums and psychics), and the wizards, out of the land. 4 And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and camped in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they camped in Gilboa. 5 And when Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.


  • ‘Familiar spirits’ were demons like Jesus cast out in the New Testament.
  • They lead people to eternal death rather than to eternal life.
  • It was right of Saul to rid the land of Israel of those who followed the devil rather than God.


6 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim, or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, Seek for me a woman that has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that has a familiar spirit at Endor. 8 So Saul disguised himself, put on other clothing, and went, having two men with him, and they came to the woman by night. And he said, Please, divine to me by the familiar spirit, and bring up whom I name to you.


  • God refused to answer disobedient Saul.
  • No scripture records any real repentance of Saul for his disobedience to God.
  • Seeking information through God’s enemies was an even greater sin.
  • Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:


9 And the woman said to him, Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has banned those that have familiar spirits and the wizards out of the land: why do you set a trap for my life, to cause me to die? 10 And Saul swore to her by the LORD saying, As the LORD lives, no punishment will happen to you for this thing. 11 Then the woman said, Who shall I bring up to you? And he said, Bring up Samuel. 12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she screamed with a loud voice: and the woman spoke to Saul saying, Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.


  • When Saul swore to her by the Lord, he used God’s name to do an evil thing.
  • Exodus 20:7 You will not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.


13 And the king said to her, Don’t be afraid: What did you see? And the woman said to Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 14 And he said to her, Of what form is he? And she said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.


  • Samuel came up from paradise.
  • Samuel was God’s faithful servant for his generation.
  • He wasn’t in hell. He was in paradise-Eden.
  • After the flood, paradise was inside the earth until Christ had paid for sin and ‘ascended on high.’
  • Satan had taken earth captive at the fall of man in Genesis 3.
  • Jesus Christ paid for all sin on the cross. When he ascended and went back to God he took the captives with Him.
  •  Ezekiel 31:16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, will be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
  •  Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.

15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disturbed me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am greatly distressed; for the Philistines are making war against me, and God has turned from me, and no longer answers me, not by prophets, or by dreams: that is why I have called you, for you to show me what I am do.


  • God had become Saul’s enemy because Saul sided with God’s enemy.


16 Then said Samuel, Why do you ask me, since the LORD has turned from you, and has become your enemy? 17 The LORD has done to him, as he spoke by me: for the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, to David: 18 Because you did not obey the voice of the LORD, or execute his fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you today.


  • Saul left God first and sided with God’s enemy.
  • If we leave God we have sided with God’s enemy.
  • God’s wrath was fierce against Amalek because they also were evil and had attacked Israel to destroy her in the wilderness in Exodus 17.
  • Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: he that does not gather with me scatters.


19 Moreover the LORD will deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines: and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me: the LORD also will deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.


  • Saul and much of Israel were following evil rather than God.
  • Samuel was God’s faithful servant from childhood.
  • He served God all his life.
  • Faithful Samuel told disobedient Saul ‘tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.’
  • Samuel was in paradise. Saul’s salvation was secure. It is a gift from God.
  • Saul’s actions were about rewards.
  • 1Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work will be shown: for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work remains that he has built, he will receive a reward. : 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss: but he himself will be saved; yet so as by fire.

20 Then Saul hurried and fell full length on the earth, and was terrified because of the words of Samuel: there was no strength in him; because he had eaten no food all day or all night. 21 And the woman came to Saul, and saw that he was greatly terrified and said to him, Behold, your handmaid has obeyed your voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have listened to your words that you spoke to me. 22 Now therefore, Please listen to the voice of your handmaid; let me set a bit of food before you; eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way. 23 But he refused and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he listened to their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat on the bed. 24 And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hurried, and killed it, took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread of it: 25 And she brought it to Saul, and to his servants; they ate. Then they rose up, and went away that night.


  • Over the years of king Saul’s reign he had filled his needs by the pride of his position as king, the attention of the people, while God was occasionally regarded and mostly ignored.
  • John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.


                                         1 Samuel 29


1 Now the Philistines gathered all their armies together to Aphek: and the Israelites were camped by a fountain in Jezreel. 2 The lords of the Philistines passed in review by hundreds, then by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rear with Achish. 3 Then the princes of the Philistines said, What are these Hebrews doing here? Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, Isn’t this David, the servant of Saul. the king of Israel, who has been with me many days, many years? I have found no fault in him since he came to me.


  • Achish was the king of the Philistines where David was hiding from Saul.
  • He sought refuge with God’s enemies and now finds himself lining up about to kill the people that God had anointed him to be king over.

God is sovereign over all—He rescues us from impossible situations of our own making


4 And the captains of the Philistines were angry with him; and the princes of the Philistines said to him, Send the man back, to return to his place that you have appointed him; Do not let him go down with us to battle, so that he not turn against us in the battle he become an enemy to us: what better way to reconcile himself to his master? Than with the heads of these men? 5 Isn’t this David, of whom one sang to another in dances saying, Saul killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands? 6 Then Achish called David and said to him, Certainly, as the LORD lives, you have been upright with me in your doings, and your military service has been good in my sight: I have not found evil in you since the day you came to me: nevertheless, the lords do not favor you. 7 Now return, go in peace, and not displease the lords of the Philistines. 8 And David said to Achish, But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you until today, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?


  • David’s protest was hypocritical.
  • He didn’t want to fight against the people that God had appointed him king over.
  • This was an amazing deliverance by God.


9 Achish answered and said to David, I know that you are good in my sight, as an angel of God: however, the princes of the Philistines have said, He will not go up with us to battle. 10 So get up early in the morning with your master’s servants that have come with you: as soon as you are up early in the morning, and have light, leave. 11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to leave, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.


  • Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?


                                        1 Samuel 30


1 And it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and struck Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2 And had taken the women that were there captive: they killed no one, neither great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters, were taken captive. 4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep. 5 David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.


  • The Amalakites were the bandits of the desert, similar to the Apache Indians.
  • God had a standing warrant out on the Amalakites because the Amalakites attacked Israel when she first was delivered from Egypt.
  • Exodus 17:16… the LORD has sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.


God is a very present help in time of need


6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, Please bring the ephod here. And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David asked the LORD saying, Shall I chase after this band of robbers? Will I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: you will definitely overtake them, and without fail recover everything.


  • David turned to the Lord in the crisis, asking advice, listening, and obeying. God’s advice is always perfect advice.
  • Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
  • Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
  • Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
  • Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the torrent of Besor, where those left behind remained. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they could not go over the torrent of Besor. 11 And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David. They gave him food, and he ate; and they made him drink water: 12 They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: when he had eaten, his spirit came to him again: for he had not eaten any food or drank any water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, To whom do you belong? Where are you from? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite man; my master left me because I fell sick three days ago. 14 We made an invasion on the south of the Cherethites, and on the coast that belongs to Judah, and on the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. 15 And David said to him, Will you bring me down to this band of robbers? And he said, Swear to me by God that you will not kill me, or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this company.


  • God providedsomeone to show David the way.
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you: do not fear or be dismayed.


16 And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad on all the earth, eating, drinking, and dancing, because of all the great plunder that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 17 And David struck them from the twilight until the evening of the next day: and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men that rode on camels and fled.


God does the impossible

18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing to them, small or great, sons or daughters, no plunder or anything that they had taken to them: David recovered all. 20 And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drove before the other livestock and said, This is David’s plunder. 21 And David came to the two hundred men that were too exhausted to follow David, whom they had had stay at the brook Besor: and they went out to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them.


  • When Abraham chased after the armies that stole Lot and his family from Sodom, he recovered all (Genesis 14).
  • In 1 Samuel 28:17, 18 part of God’s judgment against Saul was because Saul failed to execute God’s judgment against the Amalekites.
  • Amalek was concentrated evil. God finished that destruction of evil through this act of David.
  • Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, you have made the heaven and the earth by your great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for you:


22 Then all the evil and worthless men that went with David answered and said, Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the plunder that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. 23 Then said David, You will not do this, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us, who has preserved us, and delivered the band of robbers that came against us into our hand. 24 For who will listen to you in this matter? We share and share alike, those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment. 25 And it was that way from that day forward; he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.


  • God recovered everything for them.
  • He preserved them in battle and gave them the victory.
  • David had some men following him who were wicked.
  • Evil always tries to ruin what God does.


26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, to his friends saying, Behold a blessing for you from the plunder of the enemies of the LORD; 27 To those that were in Bethel, and to those which were in south Ramoth, and to those which were in Jattir, 28 And to those that were in Aroer, and to those that were in Siphmoth, and to those that were in Eshtemoa, 29 And to those that were in Rachal, and to those which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those that were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 And to those that were in Hormah, and to those that were in Chor-ashan, and to those which were in Athach, 31 And to those which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men usually were.


  • God also has plunder for His servants from the victory over His enemies.
  • At the crucifixion Jesus defeated Satan.
  • Earth’s people were Satan’s captives.
  • Jesus took back the captives from Satan and took them to be with Him at the right hand of the eternal Father.
  • The gifts He gave men were the spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament. Eternal life is the first of those gifts.
  • Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he says, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
  • 1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love him.


                                         1 Samuel 31


God allows defeat of the grossly disobedient


1 Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down wounded to death in mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines followed closely after Saul and his sons; the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, Saul’s sons. 3 And the battle went heavily against Saul, the archers hit him, and he was badly wounded by the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armor bearer, Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it; so these uncircumcised won’t come and thrust me through and abuse me. But his armor-bearer would not do it because he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it. 5 And when his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him. 6 So Saul died, his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men, that same day together. 7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and those that were on the other side of Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.


  • Saul did not obey God and therefore did not enjoy the victory that God desired for him.
  • God wanted to make a lasting dynasty for Saul (1 Samuel 13:13).
  • Saul’s suicide did not cancel Christ’s work for him on the cross.
  • Samuel had said to Saul, ‘Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me (1 Samuel 28:19).”
  • Samuel had been God’s faithful servant.
  • Samuel was not in hell or torments but in paradise, Abraham’s bosom, spoken of by Jesus Christ in Luke 16:22.
  • Saul died the death that he planned for David in 1 Samuel 18:17.
  • 1Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression that he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he did not keep, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it.


8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head, stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to announce it in the house of their idols and among the people. 10 And they put his armor in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 11 And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul; 12 All the valiant men got up, walked all night, took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons down off the wall of Beth-shan, and came to Jabesh and burnt them there. 13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a Tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.


  • Saul brought disgrace rather than glory to God. Saul’s pride and disobedience led God’s people, and all these soldiers, to death rather than life.





SUMMARY: 1 Samuel 28-31


  • God became Saul's enemy because Saul sided with God's enemy
  • God is sovereign over all
  • He rescues us from impossible situations of our own making
  • He is a very present help in time of need
  • He does the impossible
  • He allows defeat of the consistently disobedient