Calling All Heroes
Lord God, I praise You for the meaning You’ve given to my life as one of Your greatly beloved children.
Read 1 Samuel 31:1-13
 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa.  The Philistines pressed hard after 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 of what the Philistines had done to Saul,  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.  Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did those men “rescue” Saul’s body and fast for him?
We suffer an addiction today to celebrities. We delight in their ascendancy, but entertain ourselves feverishly with details of their inevitable decline into human frailty. So it was with Saul. The people eagerly sought a king. He would be strong and powerful, bringing victory against Israel’s enemies. They had already forgotten their victories under God.
However, like the Israelites themselves, their king was disloyal to God. His leadership declined into paranoia, self-importance and deceit. In losing God’s favor, Saul’s demise was inevitable. Wounded, he died alone, abandoned and exposed to further abuse (4,9,10). Without God, the powerful king was useless for Israel. A different sort of king was needed. Perhaps now Israel was ready to receive a king who truly loved God: David, and eventually the Lord Jesus.
Saul’s story teaches that all God seeks in his people is that they might be faithful. The very best gift we can give to those we love is to be godly. Without God we can do nothing.
How is your life reflecting and growing in godliness? How can you move forward into greater godliness?
Lord God, show me what it would mean to be more faithful to You. Show me how life might be different.
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