I Samuel 28 A Conflict Of Revelations.
What would David do now that his Philistine neighbours were set upon attacking Israel? Notice that when king Achish says to David that he will fight for him against Israel, that David does not say ‘Yes’, rather he said, “Surely you know what your servant can do.” (v. 2a) No, Achish did not say, “Don’t call me Shirley.” Instead he accepted David’s answer as a ‘Yes’ (v. 2b). Meanwhile, in Israel, with the death of Samuel, and the fact that Saul had ordered the expulsion of all mediums and spiritists, that Saul was left without any counsel concerning the possible future that awaited him. There were three ways which God might have revealed the truth to Saul and others, other than the word already given, which were by “dreams or by Urim or by prophets” (v. 6).
David had the prophet Gad, as well as Abiathar the only priest to survive Saul’s massacre, who wore the ephod which contained the Urim and the Thummim (23:6). It is the same ephod which Samuel had with him (2:8), with which the latter was also used to determine the will of the LORD, according to the law, contained as it was in the breatplate (Ex. 28:4-30; Lev. 8:8). The Urim and Thummim was to remain with the one whom the LORD had set apart (Dt. 33:8). These words literally mean “Lights and the Perfections” (NGSB. 163). Only the lights of the LORD’s revelation could achieve perfect knowledge of the truth, and it would only be given to those set apart for this purpose. It was another means of guidance until a fuller canonical revelation was given.
Saul, bereft of any divine guidance, and this by his own designs, was desperate for insight as to the future that awaited him. However, as the king he should have known the canonical law-word of the covenant, and it is this very law which he decided to break in order to seek out a medium or spiritist. A medium, being one to act as a channel between the living and the dead, was the avenue which he chose, when his servants informed him of the existence of the witch in En Dor. This was a border town, and a place that Saul had to enter like a spy as he had to sneak past the Philistines to get to her. The irony is that if he had of been faithful to the word already given, he would have latched unto the promise given by the LORD to drive these enemies out of his land.
The witch, much to her own horror, was able to bring up Samuel, at Saul’s request, so that Samuel ends up further testifying against Saul, but with the exact same testimony he had given when he still walked the earth – the kingdom would be taken from Saul and given to David. Saul is sick, but only for himself. At the behest of his servants, he even agrees to break bread with the witch. However, he is told that he and his sons would go to the same place as Samuel, the place for the dead, and that the army of Israel would be delivered into the hand of the Philistines, minus David and his men, who were the remnant preserved. Saul rejected the revelation, and in his rebellion also the means thereof, which the LORD had given, and in the end he heeded the word of a witch.