The reign of King Saul ended very unceremoniously. He was soundly defeated by the Philistines–the enemy that he defeated when he started his time as Israel’s king. He took his own life–he knew there was no good way for the battle to end and killed himself. He lost his sons–they were all killed in battle as well. So the kingdom now lay in ruins and the royal family decimated. But, the good news was that this was not the end. It was only the end of the beginning. Now that Saul was gone, David could become the king of Israel and lead them back to becoming God’s people and kingdom.
We must live our lives trusting and following God. When we try to live independent of God, our lives become chaotic and hopeless. It is difficult enough to do life when we trust and follow God, but apart from him–well, we can do nothing that is either substantial or that will last. Jesus said it best in Matthew 6, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. If we will trust and follow God–we will have a meaningful life; apart from Him, however, we will have a sad end to a sad story.
God Bless You
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 critically.
4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcisedfellows will come and run me through 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 with him. 6 So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.
7 When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite 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 three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. 10 They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.
11 When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.
There is something inevitable about God’s presence. When we are truly in his presence he remains Large and in Charge. We so often try to control God’s plan only to find that such control is but an illusion. Saul had decided to take his kingdom into his own hands and Kill God’s anointed King. He sent troops to capture and Kill David and even chased him personally. But, Both Saul and his men were stopped—Not by some band of Warrior angels, but, simply by God’s spirit. The spirit completely stripped and disarmed Saul—before Samuel…That had to be different than Saul planned.
God will not be mocked, controlled or usurped. His plan will ultimately prevail and as we watch—we will see his hand at work. He will protect us in the presence of our enemies. He will send the right provision for our lives and friend or foe—in his presence he will run the show. Walk with him, follow him humbly and watch his presence rule the day—He is Lord!
God Bless You
18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.
23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”