Samuel dies and the Philistines wage war against Israel from a hill opposite the Gilboa mountains. Saul is terrified to see the immense army standing before him. Saul seeks counsel, but he has recently expelled all of the oracles from the land, Samuel has died, and the spirit of God has left him. After much searching, Saul discovers an oracle living in Ein Dor. However, as he has formally expelled all oracles, mediums, and spiritists from the land, he must disguise himself. Saul arrives in the oracle’s home and asks her to communicate with Samuel’s spirit.
Saul is at his lowest point. He stands before a formidable army, terrified and desolate. The time has come for him to pay for his evil deeds. The spirit of Samuel rises and the oracle facilitates communication between him and the king of Israel. The late prophet is furious that Saul has disturbed his eternal rest. Samuel tells Saul what he already knows—that God has forsaken him. His hands are filled with innocent blood and many other sins. His opportunity to repent has ended. Samuel then informs Saul of his demise—the king and his sons will die the next day in battle. The Israelites will also be defeated due to Saul’s selfish and ill-advised behavior. Saul is devastated and feels powerless. The dice have been cast.
“Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa” (1 Samuel 28:3-4)
“Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul” (1 Samuel 28:11-12)
Like faith, certainty is knowing, without a doubt, that we are creations of God and that all we experience is good.