Why Magic?



Why would God use magic to show Samuel to Saul when he went to visit the medium in 1 Sam. 28?

Stuart B.


My dear brother,

From Deu. 18:10-12, we learn that God hates the practice of magic. So why would God allow such an incident to take place?

There are those who question if there was a real appearance of Samuel through the woman that had a familiar spirit (or spirit of Python, a serpent) for various reasons. Two of these reasons are: 1) the refusal of God to communicate to Saul, and 2) that Samuel was not actually seen by Saul (I Sam. 28:14)

Was it then a mere deception?

I do not think so, but believe this actually occurred for one simple reason - the woman cried with a loud voice, recognizing that Saul had deceived her.

The lesson we need to learn is that God is sovereign and He allows things to take place, so that He can convey a message to man. For example, God allowed Satan to touch Job because God wanted to take away the spirit of self righteousness from Job (42:6). In Num. 22, God used Balaam’s ass to see the angel of the Lord and to rebuke Balaam. Lastly, in I Sam 28, he allowed the medium to let Saul communicate with Samuel to confirm the following: 1) God had departed from Saul and become his enemy (v. 16); 2) God rent Saul’s kingdom and it was given to David (v. 17); 3) he was disobedient to God (v. 18); and 4) judgment would be executed upon him (v. 19).

For additional help, read I Sam. 15, particularly verse 23.

Yours in Him,

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