The king told her, "You have nothing to fear . . . but what do you see?" "I see a spirit ascending from the underground."
"And what does he look like?" Saul asked. "An old man ascending, robed like a priest." Saul knew it was Samuel. He fell down, face to the ground, and worshiped.
Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by calling me up?" "Because I'm in deep trouble," said Saul. "The Philistines are making war against me and God has deserted me - he doesn't answer me any more, either by prophet or by dream. And so I'm calling on you to tell me what to do."
"Why ask me?" said Samuel. "God has turned away from you and is now on the side of your neighbor.
God has done exactly what he told you through me - ripped the kingdom right out of your hands and given it to your neighbor.
It's because you did not obey God, refused to carry out his seething judgment on Amalek, that God does to you what he is doing today.
Worse yet, God is turning Israel, along with you, over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. And, yes, indeed, God is giving Israel's army up to the Philistines."
Saul dropped to the ground, felled like a tree, terrified by Samuel's words. There wasn't an ounce of strength left in him - he'd eaten nothing all day and all night.
The woman, realizing that he was in deep shock, said to him, "Listen to me. I did what you asked me to do, put my life in your hands in doing it, carried out your instructions to the letter.
It's your turn to do what I tell you: Let me give you some food. Eat it. It will give you strength so you can get on your way."
He refused. "I'm not eating anything."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)