In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul’s fear and insecurity rear their ugly heads as he faces the Philistine army. He had already lost the assurance of God’s protection, and he was scared of everything—the future, going bankrupt, losing his status, what others thought of him. But what he didn’t know was that these feelings of fear and jealousy were indicators that he was out of fellowship with God, even as he sought to seek God’s will.
In his lack of communion with God, Saul was met with silence. Time and time again, he tried to hear from the Lord and seek God’s will, but time and time again, the Lord didn’t answer him. God had shut out Saul from his direction. That’s a terrifying place to be.
Can We Seek God’s Will and NOT Seek God?
In his attempts to save himself, Saul visits a medium—i.e. a fortune teller—and has an encounter with the deceased Samuel (probably). Samuel asks why Saul has disturbed him, to which Saul replies, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do” (28:15 ESV).
The reply Saul got was true, but it wasn’t what he wanted. Nor did it fill him with courage. Samuel’s response: “Tomorrow you and your sons will be joining me here in the land of the dead” (v. 19).
What is going on here?