Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Death of Saul

April 29: 1 Chronicles 7-10

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. 3 The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was wounded by the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. 5 And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died. 6 Thus Saul died; he and his three sons and all his house died together. 7 And when all the men of Israel who were in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled, and the Philistines came and lived in them.

8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 And they stripped him and took his head and his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to carry the good news to their idols and to the people. 10 And they put his armor in the temple of their gods and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon. 11 But when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose and took away the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh. And they buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh and fasted seven days.

13 So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. 14 He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.
1 Chronicles 10:1-14

Death of Saul

1 Chronicles 10 is an almost verbatim repetition of 1 Samuel 31, with a few wording changes in verse 12, except for the last two verses which do not appear in 1 Samuel 31. One of the benefits of reading through the Bible chronologically is that it is easier to see discrepancies and to question what is different.

In this case, the last two verses of 1 Chronicles 10 give us an important conclusion regarding the life of Saul. We are told,

So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

Just four sentences that speak volumes! We would do well to consider these sobering words. Saul lost his kingdom and died for his breach of faith because he did not seek guidance from the Lord.

Where do we go to receive guidance? Do we often find ourselves acting just like Saul? Remember the time Saul was waiting upon the Lord for guidance regarding a battle with the Philistines? Samuel did not come at the appointed time, so Saul gave up waiting and burned the sacrifice himself. That was the turning point; that was the point in which Saul no longer waited upon the Lord, but rather took matters into his own hands.

What were Samuel's words to Saul?

13And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."
1 Samuel 13:13-14

Let the death of Saul be a sobering reminder to us, that no matter what our circumstances, we need to wait upon the Lord to direct our steps.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27:14, King James Version

God Bless You,
Linda

Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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