“I am afraid of Thy judgments.”

1 Samuel 31:1-5, 7-13

1 Samuel 31:1-4

The unhappy king had forsaken the Lord, and had lost divine protection. He does not appear to have felt the slightest repentance, but to have been left to the hardness of his heart even to the end. His last thoughts had no reference to his sin and his God; his own poor honour before the world was still his dearest care, as it had been so long. O that he had minded more his reputation in the sight of God, and cared less for human esteem, then had he never been driven to such envy in life or such despair in death. With his sons dead around him, and his bravest warriors slain, the wretched king, in order to escape dishonour, earned the dishonourable name of suicide.

1 Samuel 31:5

While we earnestly condemn the self-destruction, we cannot but admire the faithfulness of the armourbearer—faithful unto death. He would not survive his master. Shall this man live and die for Saul, and shall we betray our royal master, Jesus the Lord?

1 Samuel 31:10

To the fallen king there happened the disgrace which he slew himself to escape. The plundering bands of the Philistines came to strip the dead bodies of their clothing, and, lo, upon the mountain side, not far from the corpses of his three sons, they discovered the remains of Saul, swimming in his own blood. Hearts of stone might have softened at the sight, but these barbarians exulted at it. They separated the king’s head from the trunk, and stripped off his armour and weapons; sending the head from city to city as a trophy of their victory, fixing up the armour in the temple of their goddess, as a token of their gratitude to her, and leaving the body as an ignominious relic nailed to a wall.

1 Samuel 31:11

It was well and fitly done. Jabesh had been delivered by Saul from the Amorites, and it was honourable on their part to shew this mark of respect to his mangled remains. They burned his bones, that by no future accident they might again be treated with indignity, and then they buried the ashes, and paid the last mournful honours to their former monarch and deliverer.

1 Chronicles 10:13, 14

1 Chronicles 10:13, 14

We read that no one enquired at the ark of God all the days of Saul. His evil example did mischief to the whole nation, and therefore his sin was the more grievous. He began well, but his character was based upon love of human approbation, rather than upon the fear of God, and hence it came to nought. Let this be a warning to each one of us.


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