NECROMANCY is PROHIBITED for God’s PEOPLE
March 29 Bible Reading: 1 Samuel Chapters 28-31
"And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, "Find me a woman who is a medium that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor." (1 Sam. 28:6-7)
By now, King Saul has been abandoned by God to his own insane wickedness, and there was no way now to find God’s will for Israel and for himself when the Philistines had gathered together to fight against them (1 Sam. 28:4). When Saul failed to get any response from God concerning his present predicament against the Philistines, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets, he sought out a spirit medium to find out about the future, and if possible change the course of events as he was now at the point of desperation!
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines 'necromancy' as the ‘conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events’. Through the act of ‘necromancy’, Saul was directly disobeying God, as this was strictly forbidden by God through Moses through these words: "Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God." (Lev. 19:31)
The use of witchcraft had always been condemned by God (Ex. 22:18; Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:10–12). So, this incident in the life of Saul stands out as an exception in which God used what was normally prohibited to accomplish His will. Rather than repent of his sin and continue to seek God’s forgiveness, Saul turned to a forbidden source of counsel. When a medium was located in the nearby town of En Dor, Saul disguised himself and went to her to seek counsel from the dead, and this tragic decision resulted in his death: "So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse." (1 Chron. 10:13-14)
God’s law called for the death penalty on mediums as well: "A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them" (Lev. 20:27). Based upon this law, earlier Saul had ordered all the mediums in Israel killed or exiled (1 Sam. 28:3b). Now, his consultation of a medium is a clear indication of his unfaithfulness and disobedience, and God’s Word said that such a person was to be “cut off from his people” (Lev. 20:6). Saul’s disobedience in the past led to darkness in the present along with defeat and death in the future. When God gave him many opportunities to repent, he ignored them, and he did not “seek the Lord while He may be found.” (Isa. 55:6)
God has spoken clearly against seeking spirituality and guidance apart from Him, and the scripture is clear that God’s people should have nothing to do with mediums, oracles, soothsayers, or other elements of witchcraft (see Lev. 19:26–31; Deut. 18:10–11). Yet there is no denying the strong seduction of sorcery and the occult, and perhaps that’s why Israel often succumbed to the seduction of sorcery during times of crisis later in its history (2 Kings 17:17; 2 Chron. 33:6; Micah 5:12).
We should not resort to witchcraft or other occult practices, as God has given us His Word to guide us and the Spirit to help us. All answers are clearly presented to us through the Scriptures and, ultimately, in the person of Jesus Christ, who is God among us: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Let us be aware that the practice of sorcery and witchcraft severely distorts our spiritual values, endangers our relationship with Jesus Christ, and keeps us away from inheriting the kingdom of God at the very end.