Read 1 Samuel 28
How many times do you have to be told something before you believe it? Quite some time had passed since Samuel told Saul, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you” (1 Samuel 15:28). Saul witnessed the rise to popularity enjoyed by David, and believed that this young man would take his throne. And yet, when he was faced with the threat of the Philistine army, Saul’s “heart trembled greatly” and he “inquired of the LORD” (1 Samuel 28:5-6). Yet, this time, “the LORD did not answer him” (1 Samuel 28:6).
Should Saul have been surprised? He knew that the kingdom was no longer in his control (nor was it every, really). God was the one who would exalt the righteous and God was the one who would punish the wicked. As Saul had disobeyed and rebelled, he faced the wrath of God.
Still, Saul sought out the word of God from the deceased Samuel via the medium in En Dor. The witch was surprised that she was able to conjure the spirit of Samuel because her entire practice was built on deception; she had no actual power to summon the dead. There is a strong message for readers today: witchcraft is imaginary. Do not believe the fortune tellers or psychics who pretend to receive communication from those beyond the grave.
Saul told Samuel his dilemma, but Samuel responded, “So why do you ask me, seeing the LORD has departed from you and has become your enemy?” (1 Samuel 28:16).
Had God left king Saul? Yes, but only because Saul had evicted Him from his heart. God watches over and blesses the faithful; Saul had proven on multiple occasions that he was not interested in what God had to say. He wanted to reign over the kingdom his own way and take matters into his own hands, even if that meant defying God in heaven.
Saul was repeatedly warned about his sinful actions; Saul had repeatedly ignored those warnings. There comes a time when God says, “Enough is enough!” Saul had tested His patience for far too long and it was time for Israel to experience a change in regimes.