Scripture Reading: I Samuel 31:1-13

“Thus Saul died and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together. And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled. And the Philistines came and lived in them.” (I Samuel 31:7,8)

We now come to the tragic ending of Saul and his sons. The Philistines defeated the army of Israel (v. 1). When they overtook Saul and his sons, they killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishus, the sons of Saul. Saul was badly wounded in the battle. He did not want to be taken captive by the Philistines, so he fell on his sword and died. His armor-bearer did the same thing.

The Philistines took the bodies of Saul and his sons. They cut off Saul’s head and stripped off his armor and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines with the news of their victory over Saul and his army. They took the bodies of Saul and his sons and fastened them tot he wall of the city of Beth-shan.

Saul and his sons were killed. The army of Israel was defeated. The people fled from their cities and the Philistines occupied them. What a sad ending to Saul’s life! When Saul rebelled against God and continued in his rebellion, he brought disastrous consequences upon himself, his family and Israel. Sin always has consequences. Often the consequences have effects on other people as well.

I have visited the ruins of the city of Beth-shan and seen the area where Saul was defeated and where his body and the bodies of his sons were placed. It is a sad reminder of the disastrous consequences of those who rebel against God.

O Sovereign King, I bow before You this day. Give me the power to submit to Your reign. Keep me from being rebellious against You. Forgive me when I fail to obey You and submit to You as my only Lord and Savior.


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