1 Chronicles 10

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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. The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him.

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. When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died. So Saul and his three sons died, and all his house died together.

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.

The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 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.

Go Deeper

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.


  1. How does Saul’s demise prompt you to reflect and reorder your obedience to God’s
  2. Where is your first “go to” source when faced with a decision? Is it God? Google? Your wisest friend?
  3. How might your prayer life change if your initial source for guidance is the Lord instead of all the alternatives exist?

Pray This

Heavenly Father,

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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2 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 10”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    Looking at the life of King Saul, it reads like a list of what NOT to do to honor God. Among other things he attempted murder, ignored God’s instructions, and sought guidance from a medium. It seemed that Saul only sought God when all the other ways proved to be a dead end. In his final days, God rejected him for his constant stubbornness and rebellion. I don’t know about you, but I tend to have a rebellious streak that must be trained to come under the authority of Christ. Submission is hard and holy work but is the beginning of true freedom. 2 Corinthians 10:5 is the key “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

  2. Wow, just wow. This is so impactful for me. All the time I try to “help” God is just my way of being disobedient. I read the other day about how I need to throw myself with abandonment and total confidence in and on God. Faith should be a strong vigorous confidence built on God’s Holy love towards me. That HESED love, faithful, steadfast, loyal, covenant, undeserved, compassionate, enduring, reliable, complete, cherished, everlasting, kind, generous, unfailing, essential part of God’s character. I need to take all thoughts captive and bring them to the word of God to know what, when, how and why to do in my life. I also read this and it made my heart leap a little and have hope that I know God is able for all prodigal children or others.
    “If there is someone who has deeply wounded you by turning their back in disobedience to the Lord, do not lose hope! The counsel they once scorned will become their saving grace. We must continue to pray for them and believe that one day they will return to Godly wisdom.”

    God thank You for Loving me so much. Thank You for continue to guide me daily even when I mess it up. Thank You for grace but thank You for not letting me use that. God I believe my son will turn back to You and I will continue to give him to You minutely. Thank You for Your peace in Jesus name amen.

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