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1 SAMUEL 15: 20 – 24
A wizard is a male who uses the power of witchcraft, while a witch is a female who does
the same. The African world is populated with stories of witches and wizards.
Occurrence and manifestation of evil is often attributed to witches and wizards. These
witches and wizards are feared or dreaded as we believe they have satanic abilities to
cause great harm to their victims. Therefore, it is not a subject of debate in the African
world, to ask if witches and wizards are real. They are and perform at their own will.
Witchcraft is a manifestation of self-will and self leadership.
In our text, Saul was the chosen King of Israel, anointed by God for the task of rule
and dominion. God sent Saul to utterly destroy Amalek for what they did against Israel.
In Exodus 17: 8 – 14, when Israel left Egypt on the way to Canaan, Amalek came out to
fight against Israel. In that battle in which God appeared as Jehovah Nissi-the Lord our
banner, He promised to totally wipe away Amalek from the face of the earth. It was a
mission at the heart of God. Saul was sent to fulfill this mission but instead of totally
destroying everything, Saul instructed his army to spare the best of the sheep, cattle,
goats, women and the King.
Samuel was grieved over Saul’s disobedience and he told Saul that his action was
synonymous with witchcraft. The term “witchcraft” ‫( קֶסֶם‬qesem) does not just refer to
the use of supernatural and psychic powers for malevolence, it is also a reference to a
state of mind in which one has decided or concluded about an issue. In other words,
you are a witch or wizard when you negatively make up your mind about a matter in
disregard to God’s word or mind on that matter.
A witch or wizard therefore is not just someone who uses spiritual powers for
personal satanic purposes but anyone who lives in compromise to God’s word, anyone
who is self willed and self conceited in relation to divine commands. And, I dare to say,
in the age in which we live, with the kind of so called Christians we see, that I see many
witches and wizards operating in defiance of God’s instruction for their lives and
mission. From the actions of Saul we can notice three things about modern witches and
wizards to know if we are one. Therefore, who are modern witches and wizards?

1. They live a life of Spiritual Reluctance (compromise): 1 Samuel 15: 9, 20.

The term “reluctance” means unwillingness; a lack of enthusiasm and dragging your
feet on an issue. It is in reluctance that we therefore try to find a middle ground, and
compromise a divine word so as to justify ourselves that at least we obeyed. In vs.9, the
people were unwilling to utterly destroy the best of the cattle, sheep and all that was
good. The term “unwilling” (‫ לֹא אבָה‬- lo˒ ˒abah) means not to voluntarily accept and
consent to a situation, implying disobedience or non-submission.
Reluctance starts when we think we know better than God does. God commanded
the Israelites to completely destroy the Amalekites (v. 2-3), but Saul thought that good
things should be spared. There are some of us who have been instructed by God, we
had a personal encounter, and we heard him clearly when He spoke about our lifestyle,
but we have chosen to find a middle ground.
The Bible tells us to flee from all appearances of evil, yet, we are reluctant to quit
that social club because of the social contacts and privileges it affords us, that hotel
meetings with your colleagues and boss, where they do all manner of things, but
because you want to keep your job, you have failed to own up to who you are, to quit
that job because of the output of the organization, the sinful marketing strategy, the
illegal manner of profits and expansion, yet, you are foot dragging because of the pay
packet and even the unemployment situation.
Most of the time, reluctance manifests when we can find something that tells us that
we are not totally wrong. It might be a relationship where smooching, petting and
necking has become common, yet at least since outright sex is not involved, you are
reluctant to call it quits. It might be a special word to give something known to only you
and God. You have given something that appears fantastic to people’s eyes, yet, that
was only a compromise; it was not the real thing.
When it comes to spiritual principles, such flexibility becomes sin.
defines this sort of reluctance as “a dishonorable or shameful concession.” King Saul
made a seemingly minor adjustment to one of God’s commands and ended up forfeiting
his divine right to be ruler. Anytime we adjust God’s word to us, a word from scripture to
suite our situations and circumstances, we are witches and wizards who live in
reluctance to accepting God’s Lordship over their lives.
2. They live a life of Supposed Righteousness (excuse): 1 Samuel 15: 20, 21.

Saul stated categorically to Samuel that he had totally obeyed the Lord by
destroying Amalek. Samuel was stunned with the noise of several animals. Saul replied
Samuel that the people brought them to sacrifice to the Lord. What a spiritual reason for
Notice that Saul’s disobedience must have looked like a religious reason to his
people. Modern believers in God have the same temptation. In the actions and activities
of modern witches and wizards disobedience can masquerade as righteousness. When
we live like witches and wizards, when we become self governing and self ruling,
spiritual negotiation takes the place of complete obedience.
There are some of us who are living in disregard to a divine instruction. It is no news
for Christians to know their duty, and yet neglect it. Some of us, though we are
professed Christians, are living in some evil trade, association or relationship, and your
heart says, "Get out of it." Your conduct in the position does not befit your name:
Christian; but since you hope you can make a little money, and you will bless the church
with it. God cares less of what you can give. Possibly, too, there may be some evil habit
in which you are indulging, and which you excuse by saying, "Well, with it I support the
man of God, am partner in ministry." God cannot be bought with useless gifts.
Seed faith and seed sowing has become a mark of modern witches and wizards. We
think we can buy God with our offerings. Some of us are lost in sinful living in
cohabitation with men and women we have not married; yet, we want God to cast a
blind eye on it with our offerings. Some of us are failing in our spiritual activities as
church workers, doing private prostitution to gain official favours or enhance our grades.
No matter what appears to be the breakthrough you have, no matter what appears to be
the success you have recorded, yet, you have brought back Agag with you.
Supposed success without obedience is backwardness. Agag, is the evidence of
disobedience to divine instruction. Some of us know quite well, that what we are doing
is against the will of God. He spoke to you clearly about the need to come out from
among them in unbelieving business practices, but, our excuses is that at least you pay
your tithe. Halfway surrender to God, a consecration which has its reservations is living
out a life of witchcraft. Each time we fail to live the life God expects of us and think we
can excuse our disobedience with seed faith, it is an insult to God. It is the very spirit of

gambling and gamblers. Disobedience is our passion to govern our lives, live our lives
the way we want, be masters of our own destinies just like witches and wizards do.
3. They live a life of Spiritual Rebellion: 1 Samuel 15: 22 – 23.
The term “rebellion” (meriy) refers to an act of disobedience, opposition, or
resistance to someone in authority. Rebellion against God’s word or instruction is as evil
as witchcraft. To rebel against the clearest and most express declaration of the will of
God is an action of witches and wizards. When our action is said to be "as the sin of
witchcraft," the meaning is that it is a fault so terrible to provoke divine anger.
Saul was forewarned. He had received a plain commission from God. He
occupied a high position. He belonged to a nation that had the light of Divine revelation.
He was their king, and had pledged himself to keep the constitution, which demanded
obedience to the will of God. He was the first king, and representative of God, the king
of kings. Obedience in his case was important; but in this he transgressed.
Like Saul when we are born again, delivered from the kingdom of darkness into
His marvelous light, we had a change of citizenship. We became according to 1 peter
2:9 a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people, and a royal priesthood. It is
then expected that we make the word and will of God the central focus of our lives.
However, today what we see is the opposite of what God expects. It is very fashionable
calling ourselves Christians but not displaying the virtue that makes God worthy. We are
comfortable calling him saviour, but not making him Lord. We are comfortable when he
speaks about our healing, we are excited when he speaks about our prosperity, and we
are lifted when he speaks about our breakthrough, but we are rebellious when he
speaks about sinful associations and privileges.
Some of us are rebellious against the word that has called on us to separate from
our night clubbing with our boss. When God gave you that appointment in that company
or organization, He spoke to you expressively why He wanted you there. He gave you a
mission, an assignment and even a word that will shame the devil and enthrone the
victorious Christ. However, today, we live in excuses why we cannot do some of the
things he asked us to do. Our excuse, our seeming compromise is God you know that
my job does not allow me the time to do this; however, I am faithful in giving my tithes
and offering. There are those of us whom God gave church assignments and missions,

but today we live with excuses instead of facing what He asked you to do. Our excuses
of my job, my baby, my school, our blessings have become God’s worry!
Beloved, what is the mission and word directly from the Lord or scripture that you
have substituted or exchanged for something else? No amount of negotiation can
change the fact that since you have not lived up to the word, you live in rebellion.
Whatever you are doing that does not please God, shame the devil by your lifestyle is a
betrayal of the grace of God upon your life. Your action is equivalent to witchcraft.
Samuel makes the startling statement that rebellion is similar to divination (v. 23),
something the Israelites were forbidden to practice (Deut. 18:10-12). Accordingly, we
Christians are forbidden to disobey since it is equitable with witchcraft.
Conclusion: In the drama “The Backslidden Giant,” Adeola was an applicant
who was very active in Church: a prayer warrior and a dedicated church worker. Adeola
finally got a job in Lagos. In Lagos, gradually Adeola began to keep late nights. God
sent messages to him to quit the night outings with his boss, but, he felt since He could
make up with his giving God would be satisfied with that. Adeola died in disobedience
because of his rebellion. What a waste of life and talent for short-lived pleasures.
As Christians, we always have the chance to repent and return to serving God.
However, the Lord limits our usefulness when we refuse to cleanse ourselves from
disobedience. Saul’s compromise cost him and his descendants the throne of Israel.
Our disobedience can prevent us from reaching our full potential in God’s kingdom. As
Saul was rejected from Kingship, so have some of us been rejected because we are
modern witches and wizards who live in disobedience.
1. Forgive me forgive me for disobedience in my life.
2. I repent from every form of negotiation I have done for my own selfishness.
3. I confess that I have failed you, release me from guilt and condemnation.
4. I repent of my disobedience, I promise to totally follow after your will.
5. Give me the grace to make choices that honor You and are true to Your Word.
6. Lord, every consequence from my disobedience, please, release me from it.
7. Lord give me a passion to always obey you in Jesus’ name. Amen.