In these chapters we see David slipping briefly from the moral high ground, saved from over – the – top violence at Nabal’s ingratitude only by the shrewdness of Abigail – soon to be Nabal’s widow and David’s wife.
Then we see again that he spares Saul’s life when he has the power to take it, but then takes partial service with the Philistines – while remaining loyal to Israel under the surface.
The strangest is Saul’s despairing visit to the medium of Endor, in the bizarre hope of getting from Samuel advice, or perhaps a blessing. I don’t know what to make of this story – I don’t believe that the departed can be summoned back to speak to the living, but that seems clearly to be what is happening here. Perhaps the LORD overrides the rules of nature in a last desperate attempt to get through to Saul. But Saul is beyond advice or help. He cannot command Samuel beyond death any more than he could in life.
The fundamental truth is that Saul has already forfeited God’s blessing and his own role in God’s plan. Speaking with one of God’s departed servants, however great, will not change that. There is no help to be found in consulting mediums, but we can approach God himself in prayer. And when we do that with hearts open to listen and obey, before it’s too late, before we’re desperate, we can avoid falling into Saul’s trap.
Let’s seek God’s counsel while we still have time to act upon it.