It was around 1000 BC, and Saul was King of Israel. King Saul was suffering from severe depression, paranoia, and on again/off again demon possession. He was in the middle of a war, and losing badly. His best adviser, Samuel, had recently died, and now Saul had no clue what to do. So, he freaked out and did the least logical thing possible.
He brought Samuel back from the dead.
This was especially difficult for Saul to pull off, since as king he had outlawed witchcraft. Somehow, King Saul learned there was a medium in the town of Endor. Saul put on a disguise, and he and a couple of close friends snuck away from the troops in the middle of the night. They went to the medium’s house.
They talked for a while and…
11 Finally, the woman said, “Well, whose spirit do you want me to call up?”
“Call up Samuel,” Saul replied.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, “You’ve deceived me! You are Saul!”
13 “Don’t be afraid!” the king told her. “What do you see?”
“I see a god coming up out of the earth,” she said.
14 “What does he look like?” Saul asked.
“He is an old man wrapped in a robe,” she replied.
Saul realized it was Samuel, and he fell to the ground before him.
15 “Why have you disturbed me by calling me back?” Samuel asked Saul.
“Because I am in deep trouble,” Saul replied. “The Philistines are at war with me, and God has left me and won’t reply by prophets or dreams. So I have called for you to tell me what to do.” 1 Samuel 28:11-15 (NLT)
At that point, Samuel let Saul know that in 24 hours Saul would be joining him – wherever Samuel came from.
Behind the Scenes:
If the Bible is true, and I believe it is, then Samuel was already in Heaven. It’s my assumption God wanted to have a bit of fun with the medium and teach Saul a lesson at the same time. So, Samuel left Heaven and showed up in the mediums house – we just aren’t told how he got there. All we know for sure is…
Samuel left Heaven and had a grand time scaring a witch.
The witch had planned on bringing up the dead – or impersonating the dead – but it didn’t work out when Samuel actually showed up.
The witch was scared, which is funny in an ironic sort of way.
The Bible doesn’t say what happened to the witch or Samuel. We do know Saul died soon after, just as Samuel predicted. I’d bet Samuel went back to Heaven, and the witch changed her clothes.