by Clarence E. Macartney

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Samuel - The Man Who Preached from the Grave (10 of 15)
Series: The Greatest Men of the Bible
Clarence E. Macartney
1 Samuel 28:11

No witch scene from Shakespeare or writer of fiction can surpass in awe and gripping interest this scene at the cave of Endor where the woman with the familiar spirit bends over her cauldron. Saul had been a great soldier; but now the time had come for Saul to fight his last battle. Haggard and haunted with care, Saul leaned on his sword on Mount Gilboa and surveyed the host of the Philistines who lay beneath him all along the valley, that most fought over soil on this planet, the Valley of Esdraelon.

From where he stood Saul could see the lights of the campfires of the Philistine army. He heard the hum of that host, the shouts of the captains, the neighing of the horses, the blare of the trumpets.

In this crisis Saul felt the need of a higher power than his own right arm and reached out after the help of the unseen. ''Saul inquired of the Lord.'' In his brief reign he had too often neglected to do that and had followed his own way; but at last he sought after the help of God. There was no prophet to whom he could go, for Samuel was dead. What would Saul not have given now for the presence and the counsel of Samuel? Then he tried to get a sign from the Urim and the Thummim, perhaps the mystic stones that flashed and gleamed upon the breastplate of the high priest. But no guiding ray came from them. For one who would learn the secrets of tomorrow there was only one course left, and that was to consult a necromancer, one who dealt in the secrets of the occult world. In his despair Saul asked his servants to let him know if there was a woman with a familiar spirit who was available. To consult such a person was contrary to the law of God and was outlawed by Saul himself, upon penalty of death. Now Saul proceeded to break his own law.

His kingly robes and armor have been laid aside, and in disguise Saul and his attendants ma ...

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