1 Samuel 26 — To quote the great Yogi Berra, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” We’ve seen this scenario before.
1 Samuel 27 — David is starting to exhibit some craftiness of his own. I’m amazed that he’d live among the Philistines in the first place, but more amazed that they’d allow it seeing as how he decapitated their greatest warrior.
1 Samuel 28 — Back in the day I used to argue this chapter with folks who believed in soul sleep. They argued that the witch of Endor conjured up a demonic spirit while I contend that it was indeed Samuel’s spirit. Notice first that Saul inquires of the LORD and receives no answer (v. 6). So how does he respond? By seeking someone who is off limits for Israel (vv. 7-8 cf. Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:11). Of course Saul knows this seeing as how he put all of them out of the land (v. 3) and the witch reiterates this (v. 9). But I digress. Saul tells the witch to conjur up Samuel (v. 11) and she does it (v. 12) immediately recognizing that it was Saul speaking to her by what she saw (v. 12). When she describes who she sees the narrative says that “Saul knew that is was Samuel” (v. 14). There’s no indication thus far that he’s been deceived. Samuel then speaks rebukes Saul for disturbing him (v. 15) and reaffirms what he prophesied to Saul while he was living while adding a bit about Saul’s impending defeat at the hand of the Philistines (vv. 16-19). There’s just way too much truth and deference to the LORD for this to be a demon speaking.
1 Samuel 29 — God is awesome. He was able to keep David from going to battle with his own people. Think about how that would have affected his kingship.
1 Samuel 30 — To paraphrase the opening line of Kung Fu Panda: “Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose military skills were the stuff of legend.” David is a great warrior. But to quote Master Yoda, “Wars not make one great.” What made David great was that he realized from the beginning that the battle was the LORD’s. That’s also what allowed him to correct the wicked among him when they wanted to be selfish with the spoils. They had what they had because God gave it; not because they were great warriors.
1 Samuel 31 — Just like Samuel said would happen. Yet another reason to see Samuel as an ideal prophet. He was even accurate postmortem. I wonder if Saul’s head would have been taken (v. 9) if he had been the kind of king to take the Philistine Goliath’s head. There’s a certain poetic justice to his end. Even more so when we consider that he killed himself. For all his hatred of David, he was always his own worst enemy.