1 Samuel 31

Greetings!

Why did Saul commit suicide?  He might have recalled what happened to Samson when the Philistines captured him (torture and humiliation). 

Saul had everything most people would want: An imposing physical presence, strength, power and wealth.  But he was miserable without God, just like Solomon was a few decades later when he abandoned God for a time. 

Matthew 6:33 (NIV) says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  That isn’t marketing spin or some inane advice.  If we don’t put God first we won’t truly enjoy the other good things in life as much.  Think about how many other rich and famous people have committed suicide because life seemed so empty to them.

Saul Takes His Life

31     Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines pressed hard after 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 uncircumcised fellows 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.

We will all face moral dilemmas.  The armor-bearer had to decide whether to obey his king or his God.  He chose wisely.  Drawing a line ahead of time with respect to what we will or won’t do is crucial.  Waiting until temptation comes is a bad idea.  As Joshua 24:15 says, “but if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

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 of what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men journeyed 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.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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One Response

  1. […] that the man below was lying to win David’s favor, as his account differs from that of 1 Samuel 31.  He assumed that since Saul had tried to kill David that David would reward someone who finished […]

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