Read 1 Chronicles 10
Saul Takes His Life
10 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. 3 The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him.
4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and abuse me.”
But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died. 6 So Saul and his three sons died, and all his house died together.
7 When all the Israelites in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.
8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They stripped him and took his head and his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news among their idols and their people.10 They put his armor in the temple of their gods and hung up his head in the temple of Dagon.
11 When all the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men went and took the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones under the great tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.
13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
After nine chapters of detailed genealogy, the focus turns to the beginnings of the kingdom of Israel. The tragic end of King Saul’s life is revealed as we read of his fear of the Philistines and of his death inflicted by their arrows and his own sword. Amidst the description of the death of Saul and his sons is a summary of Saul’s reign. Ultimately, he was unfaithful to the Lord. This poignant statement will stand in stark contrast to God’s next king, David, described as a man after God’s own heart. Throughout the remaining chapters of Chronicles, the theme of faithfulness versus unfaithfulness will be presented.
What can we take away from this description of Saul’s end? In a devotional of 1 Chronicles 10, pastor David Platt suggests that the necessity of avoiding Saul’s breach of faith is a strong message for us to consider. Saul disobeyed God’s word and failed to seek Him for guidance resulting in unfaithful actions and weak leadership. The result for Saul was God’s judgment and the kingship turned over to David. Clearly, to avoid breaking faith with God, we are encouraged to obey His commands. Only as we depend on God to enable us to obey and walk with Him continually will we avoid unfaithful steps.
Saul’s disastrous decision to seek guidance from a medium, rather than the Lord, exposed his pattern to avoid seeking the Lord for direction. This breach of faith led to the tragic end of Saul and his sons. Again, the encouragement for us is clear. God alone is our perfect source of guidance and direction. As followers of Jesus Christ, our first best search for guidance is from our Lord. Our temptation to look elsewhere may not include a medium, but rather a search engine on our phone or computer. How do we resist the distractions that pull us away from seeking God’s wisdom first? Voicing a prayer to ask God for wisdom and direction is a start. May our eyes and heart and mind be fixed on Jesus as we face our daily decisions.
- How does Saul’s demise prompt you to reflect and reorder your obedience to God’s
- Where is your first “go to” source when faced with a decision? Is it God? Google? Your wisest friend?
- How might your prayer life change if your initial source for guidance is the Lord instead of all the alternatives exist?
Help me to live out the words of Proverbs 3:5-7 and to “trust in You with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways lead me to acknowledge You, confident that You will direct my paths. Keep me from being wise in my own eyes; may I fear You, God and turn away from evil.”
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