Archive for March 13th, 2008

Tragedy of Being Unprepared

We come to the conclusion of 1 Samuel and the conclusion of the people’s king, Saul. Sin causes such chaos and confusion.

What a sad plot Saul’s life took. As sad as anything is in this account, sad is the absence of any kind of sorrow or repentance or crying out to God at all on Saul’s part. He was told the previous day that he would die, yet he does not seem to have prepared his soul to meet God in any way.

When Saul saw the Philistine army preparing to attack Israel, he spent his time going undercover to a witch’s cove. No preparation of his army. No preparation to meet God. No preparation from a kingly standpoint except to consult a medium. So no wonder when the Philistines attacked all Israel was thrown into disarray and slain on Mt. Gilboa.

Lord God, as I hear hard words or encounter difficult times, may I cry out to You, and be quick to repent lest it give the Philistines the victory.

And to think…David wanted to be a part of this group of Philistines. It was the Lord’s mercy that did not allow David to take up with these enemies of the Lord. David would have had a hand not only in slaying Saul, but in killing his covenantal best friend, that brave and worthy Jonathan. To the end, we see Jonathan loyally fighting for his God, his country, and his father the king unto the very end.

Merciful Saviour, how I thank You for sparing me the many snares I would I have chosen to fall headlong into, if it were not for Your intervention.

As much as the events of Saul and his family’s death grieved David, it is clear to see that it did provide David a smoother path to the kingship of Israel in the aftermath. I’m thankful the Lord is able to see the big picture.

What can be said about suicide? Saul’s beginning looked so bright, but as time took it’s toll on this tall, handsome man, jealousy took over. Even to the point that it led to the sin of suicide. After all, suicide is self-murder. Yet, it is wrong to regard suicide as the unforgivable sin.

There is no depth that a person (yes, even a Christian), won’t go, if we start trusting in our own hearts more instead of God’s will. And this isn’t even addressing the physical suicidal causes. The Christian is not granted a special hedge of protection over the synapses of the brain or the chemical balance of it. We are prone to heart disease, liver disease, and any other organ disease, including the brain, just like the rest of the world.

Every sin is forgivable. Every poor choice we make is forgivable. But just as in this story…the tragedy is so far reaching. All of God’s people were in total chaos and on the edge of captivity. It was even used to glorify pagan gods and to mock the living God (to proclaim it in the temple of their idols and among the people).

Giver of Life, help me to embrace You as the source of Life. During the darkness of life may I lean hard on You rather than leaning on my sword.

Out of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead arose valiant men who gave kindness to the memory of Saul, Jonathan, and Saul’s other sons. Many years before, Saul delivered their city from the Ammonites, and they faithfully repay the kindness God showed them from the hand of Saul. And so the men of Jabesh Gilead took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from their place of humiliation and gave them a proper burial.

Lord Jesus, help me to give tokens of my appreciation and gratitude to the many people You have used in my life to deliver me from the “Ammonites,” while they are still alive. Oh for a deeply grateful heart!