Bible Reference: I Samuel 28:3-25:31
Broom Puppets* (see directions, below): Samuel, King Saul, Saul in disguise, Servant, Good Advisor, Bad Advisor, Witch. (Leader and Operator are not puppets but position themselves to the side of the stage.)
Do you know what this is? (show broom). We can find brooms everywhere. What do you do with brooms? (Discuss)
Sometimes during Halloween children will dress up in witch costumes and pretend to ride a broomstick. There are also cartoons about witches riding broomsticks. But I want to show you another way to use a broom.
(Show the witch puppet bag (or hat), and place it on the brush part of the broom.)
This is a broom puppet. We will use it in today's Bible skit.
Thankfully there is no such thing as a witch who flies around frightening people. That's just pretend. But in today's Bible story from 1 Samuel there is an important lesson about a "medium," who is sometimes called a witch in Scripture. King Saul had a choice to make about going to see a medium. He knew mediums or witches were evil and not of God. Listen closely now to an important lesson about making good and bad choices.
Leader: King Saul was miserable old man. He had disobeyed God. He had exalted himself over God's rules. He had gone crazy. He thought no one loved him and everyone wanted to kill him. In his madness he killed all the priests. Now the Philistines were coming to attack his army and he was afraid. In the past, he would have gone to God's Prophet, Samuel, for advice. But Samuel had died, and he had gotten rid of all of the other priests! Saul had no one to turn to for help.
Saul: Where are my counselors? Where are my soldiers? Where's my mommy?
Good Advisor: May I be of some help? I think we should send someone to reason with the Philistines.
Saul: (whining) Get out of here! If I could only talk to Samuel!
Bad Advisor: (very sneaky and devious) I know a witch who can bring people back from the dead.
Saul: A witch?
Good Advisor: There are no witches. Witchcraft is against God's law.
Saul: That's right! Witchcraft is against the law. (Pushes the advisor away) But tell me more.
Bad Advisor: She lives in Endor.
Good Advisor: (tells audience) Witches get their power from Satan. We are only supposed to be guided by God and only God. Poor Saul. (heavy sigh)
Leader: So King Saul disguised himself, and went to the town of Endor in search of the witch.
(Change puppets. Knocks on door. Door opens.)
Saul: (calls out) Hello!
Witch: What do you want?
Saul: I'm trying to contact someone on the other side.
Witch: King Saul has executed all the witches.
Saul: What do you think I'm going to do? Tell him I consulted a witch? We'd BOTH die. Look, I promise you King Saul is not going to hurt you.
Witch: Okay, who do you want to contact?
Witch: (Obviously expecting more) Did you have a specific Samuel in mind, or will just anyone do?
Saul: You know, SAMUEL . . . God's Prophet.
Witch: Oh THAT Samuel. What are you, crazy? He's about as keen on witches as Saul!
Saul: Oh, never mind.
Witch: Wait a minute. Let's give it a try. Samuel, oh Samuel. (weird sound effects)
Operator: (voice only) I'm sorry this number has been disconnected. If you feel you have reached this number by mistake please hang up and dial again.
Witch: Oh, I thought I called 1-666 collect.
Operator: (Voice only) Sorry, wrong area code.
Witch: Forget the call. I'll try chanting. Sam-u-el, Sam-u-el, Sam-u-el!
(Samuel appears. Witch screams and faints. She wakes up and screams again)
If you're really here, then (turning to Saul) YOU must be King Saul! (faints again)
Saul: I'm in trouble, Samuel. I don't know what to do. Help me!
Samuel: Why ask me when the Lord has turned against you? You have already lost your kingdom because you disobeyed Him. Tomorrow the Philistines will conquer your army. You and your sons will die.
Leader: King Saul fell on his face in terror. The witch had risked her life to obey King Saul's orders. She had never called a real person back from the dead, nor does Satan have the power to bring people back the dead. God allowed this to happen. Later, the witch prepared a meal for the terrified King and sent him back to camp. The next day Saul died along with his three sons, just as God had said. David's best friend, Jonathan, died along with his father in the battle; it was a very sad day for Israel.
1. Why was King Saul's life in such a mess? (He made bad choices by disobeying God over and over again.)
2. Why was Saul willing to go to a witch, when he had made them illegal? (Bad choices lead to more bad choices. He was desperate and didn't trust God to lead him.)
3. How do you think the witch felt when Samuel appeared? (She was terrorized, because she knew it really was Samuel. She was frightened because she knew who Saul was.)
4. How can this story help us all to make good choices? (It reminds us that bad choices always hurt and lead us away from God. We also learn that evil is real and Satan will tempt us to disobey God. The Bible says, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places" Ephesians 6:12 NLT.)
5. Have you ever made a bad choice? (Discuss)
We must ask God to help us with all of our problems. He will help us to make good choices. The most important choice that we can make is to choose to love God. And when we do, God's Spirit protects us from the Evil One. Listen to this promise from Scripture: "But you belong to God, my dear children . . . because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world" (1 John 4:4 NLT.)
If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior and Forever Friend, you can do so today.
Suggested prayer: "Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross to take the punishment I deserve for disobeying God. Thank you for rising from the dead to give me eternal life with God. Thank you for the promise to protect me from the Evil One. Help me to follow you and make good and godly choices all the days of my life. Amen."
*Directions for Broom Puppets
Needed: Grocery bag; glue; small, clean brooms with handles.
Endor witch should look like an old lady with a pointed hat, or put a "witch" hat over the brush part of the broom.
King Saul should have two brooms, one like a king and the other like a unkempt old man.
Samuel his face is like any of the Old Testament prophets, such as you find in a Bible picture book.
Advisors could have a small cap and look well groomed.
Draw faces on grocery bags with the opening at the bottom, or print out faces and glue to bag. Insert the brush portion of the broom inside the bag. Children hold the handle to animate their puppets. Attach a plastic sheet holder to the back of the bag to hold the script so children can read their parts.
Copyright 2010 Sylvia Seymour
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