What’s on your “to do” list? Talk to God about having his priorities for your schedule today.
Read 1 Samuel 31:1-13
 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa.  The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua.  The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.  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.  When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him.  So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.  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.  The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.  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.  They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.  When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,  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.  Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Saul face honor and dishonor in death?
Here we see the gratitude of the people of Jabesh Gilead. Saul had rescued them from slavery in his first military expedition by swift and decisive action (cf. 11:1-11). Now the men of Jabesh Gilead respond swiftly (11-13), despite the comprehensive defeat by the Philistines. The terrible desecration of the bodies has to stop immediately. Sometimes the best time to act, if not the only time to act, is right now. In a friend’s bereavement or joy, for example, now is the moment for the card, however clumsy the words you add may be. When you see a family stretched to the limit, now is the moment to take them dinner. The grateful valor of the people of Jabesh Gilead not only teaches us to seize the moment but also reminds us of how well Saul started and how different it all might have been. Our admiration for their courage is tinged by sadness at such wasted potential. It is meant to be.
Who is someone you could thank, serve, or encourage today, even if it means having to rearrange your schedule?
Lord, help me to be aware of others’ needs, sensitive to Your promptings, and quick to respond.