King Saul’s visit to the medium at Endor (1 Sam. 28) is the most detailed account of necromancy in Scripture. It exposes the fraudulence of those who claim to traffic in communication with the deceased, and it warns about the consequences of those who seek to cross a line God has drawn in the sand.
Simply stated, a medium is one who claims to connect the living with the dead. As we read of King Saul’s encounter with the woman of Endor, we learn that Saul is in desperate straits. Samuel the prophet has died, and the king hears nothing but silence from the LORD. Even though Saul has banned necromancers from the land, he instructs his servants to seek out “a woman who is a medium,” literally, “a woman controlling, or mistress of, a divining demon” (1 Sam. 28:7).
Saul understands how necromancy is believed to work. A demon must mediate between the necromancer and the spirit of a deceased person. Saul is willing to go this route in order to contact Samuel because the late prophet and judge was unmatched in knowing God’s mind and future events.
When Saul makes contact with the woman at Endor, he assures her that no harm will come to her, even though she operates an unlawful business. His need to seek Samuel’s counsel overrides the shady nature of their exchange.