Darkness fell yet nothing around her changed. Dank, thick air suffocated, made each breath hard to take. Even the fire suffered, offered little heat, precious little light. Barely enough to cast a shadow. Acrid wisps of smoke, circled, stung. Her eyes watered from the assault. Disdainful words fell from her lips as she pulled roughly at the blanket around her.
Her voice hissed, echoed as she lamented over her present conditions and the one who’d caused them. “I volunteer to counsel you,” she spewed, brooded. “And this is how you repay me.”
Once pampered hands, wrap around a twisted staff, she scratches at the earth, symbols, incantations.
“You called us in, forgot your own God. Treated us like royalty, then put a price on our heads. You may have found the others. But you’ll not find me—”
Heavy footsteps. Perhaps another in need of her power. They often sought her out.
The light from their torch proceeded them.
Standing she grasped her staff, stared into the serious eyes of the one who approached.
“I need you to conduct a séance. Please, I need you to call someone up for me.”
The desperation, the need in his voice, he would believe anything she said. Yet she had to be careful.
“You come here for my help yet you know what Saul has done. He’s cut us off from the land. Why should I believe you’re not setting a trap for me? Why should I believe you’re not laying a snare for my life?”
“No!” Desperation clung like dew to his countenance. “I swear to you by the Lord. No punishment shall come to you for this thing?”
He’d sworn by his Lord. She understood the significance. She could work with this.
“Whom shall I bring up for you?”
A haunting look, “Bring up Samuel for me.”
A waving of the hands, a calling up of the spirits. She yells out loudly and then swings around.
“Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”
What made him think he could fool her? Even the most cleverest of disguises couldn’t hide who he was.
He rushed to calm her. “Don’t be afraid. What did you see?”
With practiced expertise she spoke, “I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.”
At her uncanny description of the spirit, she could tell Saul was convinced she’d called up Samuel. He would believe whatever she told him.
And speaking as Samuel, she had much to say.
“Why do you seek me out seeing that the Lord is departed from you and is now your enemy? Why does it surprise you that the Lord has done exactly as he said he would, the very words he spoke through me?”
Fueled by Saul’s look of utter disillusion, she continued. Used her medium, Saul’s weakness to bring satisfaction to her lord.
“The Lord has taken the kingdom from your hand and has given it to your neighbor. Even to David. Because you didn’t obey, because you didn’t execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek the Lord has done this thing to you. Because of this, the Lord will also deliver Israel and you in the hand of the Philistines and tomorrow you shall be with me. And the Lord shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”
Saul fell to his knees, to the ground.
He believed all that she’d lied about and she couldn’t have been prouder.
As he and the other two walked out of the cave, she cackled.
I shall never have to volunteer my services to you again.
1 Samuel 28:3-20
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