Then Saul fell at once full length on the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night. And the woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, “Behold, your servant has obeyed you. I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to what you have said to me. Now therefore, you also obey your servant. Let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way.” He refused and said, “I will not eat.” But his servants, together with the woman, urged him, and he listened to their words. So he arose from the earth and sat on the bed. Now the woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly killed it, and she took flour and kneaded it and baked unleavened bread of it, and she put it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night. I Samuel 28:20-25 ESV
You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh. Psalm 90:3-9 ESV
Napoleon Bonaparte was once an extremely powerful man. He was a political and military leader for France in the early 1800s. He led many war campaigns in Europe, and for a number of years he was very successful. People in Europe were afraid of him. Children in England were sometimes told that they had to be good, or “Boney” would get them. But Napoleon was finally defeated by British troops in the battle of Waterloo, and the British sent him to an island called Saint Helena off the coast of Africa. He was not well treated while in exile, and he became weak and sick, and eventually died. At the end of his life Napoleon was nothing to be afraid of; he was just a weak prisoner.
The medium of Endor had been afraid of Saul. He had been a powerful king, and he had made her business illegal. If he had found her in the past, he might have put her to death or driven her out of the country. But now the medium saw that she had nothing to be afraid of. Saul was only a weak man, terribly afraid of death and of the Philistine army. He was too upset to eat, even though he would need all his strength to face the battle the next day. The medium felt sorry for Saul. He was a frightened, hungry, weak man, and she gave him a good meal before he left.
Sometimes we are afraid of people or situations that seem to have to power to hurt us. But we have something neither Saul nor the medium had. We have God on our side, and we don’t ever have to be afraid. Even the worst of problems, death and all the powers of darkness, are nothing to be afraid of. Jesus defeated them for us when he died on the cross and rose again from the dead. He took away all their power over us. We are safe in Jesus’ care, and he will always be with us to help us with the problems that face us and make us afraid.
Dear Jesus, thank you for defeating all the things that had power over us to hurt us. Please be with us and help us every day. Amen.