Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bright Beginning, Sad Ending

One of the saddest and most heart-rending stories in the Bible is told in the First Book of Samuel. Saul, son of Kish, we are told, was “a choice young man, and handsome, and there was not among the children of Israel a more handsome person than he; ...he was taller than any of the people.” Samuel told Saul, “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you and you shall prophesy with [the prophets] and shall be turned into another man... And it was so that... God gave him another heart.” Thus was he anointed the first king of Israel. (10:6,9,24)

What, you might ask, is sad about that? Nothing, certainly. And the Book continues with the story of Saul’s reign, the good the bad and the ugly. But then in chapter 31 we read, “Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.” (31:4,5)

A man chosen and blessed of God, elevated to the highest position in the land, given a new heart; and yet for his failure to follow God in all things, he died a suicide. What lesson can we take from this? If nothing else, be careful in all things to honor God and follow His leadings.


Shelly said...

I've always thought of the story of Saul as a tragedy. He was gifted with so much and yet ended it the way he did. Some are equipped outwardly, but not inwardly.

vanilla said...

Shelly, tragic indeed, as are the life stories of too many others. I read an author a couple of days ago who was clearing Saul of the charge of suicide. He asserted that it was the expected outcome for the leader of a lost battle. At any rate, I am not qualified to sit in judgment. That is in God's hands.

Sharkbytes said...

It can be really hard to follow God for a whole lifetime.