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1 Samuel 31:1-10

“Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armorbearer, ‘Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.’ But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it. And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him. So Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together that same day. And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were on the other side of the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. So it happened the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent word throughout the land of the Philistines, to proclaim it in the temple of their idols and among the people. Then they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.”

What a tragic end to such a promising young king. Saul had all the physical attributes that the world would look for in a national leader; he was tall and handsome, but unfortunately he was not a man of faith and substance. The people of Israel greatly erred by putting their hope in Saul’s looks, stature and charm. Yet, Saul was an emotionally unstable man with a fiery temperament that often led him to make impetuous and rash decisions. Led by his own ways, King Saul found himself alone and alienated from God where he ultimately suffered a terrible end.


It takes great wisdom and strength to turn to God rather than depend on one’s self to make good choices in life. Let the example of Israel’s poor decision in choosing Saul to be their king, serve as a reminder to us to always choose God’s path over our own. We may think we know best, but God’s wisdom always surpasses our own.

– Pastor Jack


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