So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage. I Samuel 28:8-14 ESV
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident. Psalm 27:1-3 ESV
Do you know any superstitions? Many of our superstitions started in Europe in the Middle Ages. For example, if you spilled salt, you were supposed to throw a little of it over your left shoulder so that it would get into the eye of the evil spirit behind you that made you spill it. A black cat was thought to have an evil spirit, so you needed to stay away from black cats. Walking under a ladder was walking through a triangle, which would be very disrespectful of God–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–because a triangle is a symbol of the Trinity.
The people in the Middle Ages were afraid of many things: war, disease, famine, evil spirits, and God’s anger. Their superstitions helped them feel safe from these bad things. Saul and the medium of Endor were also very fearful. Saul was afraid of the powerful Philistine army that was gathered against him, and of death. The medium was afraid of being punished by Saul for her illegal business, and she was also afraid of the evil spirit she had conjured up that seemed to be Samuel. When people turn their lives away from God, they often have a lot of fear.
There are things that make us afraid as well. We might be afraid of darkness and ghosts, or war and violence, or losing people that we love. We might also be afraid because we are sinful and know we deserve God’s anger. But even though sometimes bad things happen, we never have to really be afraid. Jesus came to die on the cross for us. He took our punishment so that our sins are forgiven. God’s love for us is sure, and his protection keeps evil forces from hurting us. No matter what happens to us, we can be sure that we are safe in God’s love, now and forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your wonderful love and care. Help us to always trust you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.