How often do we find ourselves in the midst of tragedy and crisis and we hunker down in our own counsel, hoping to figure the thing out ourselves? This is a perfect opportunity to inquire of the Lord and repair our hearts before Him. David had to inquire through a priest, but we have direct access to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 niv 1984
Along with the Throne of Grace, God has also provided this volume of His words (the Bible) in order that we might seek Him out for advice, favor, and deep fellowship. Consider the words of Jesus:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 niv 2011
Without seeking out the heart of God, we’re a great crash looking for a place to happen.
David, thankfully, turned from his wickedness and sought after God’s own heart once again.
18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.” 1st Samuel 30:18-20 niv 2011
And while all this is going on, Saul, who’d sought after the heart of a witch and a dead man, was falling with a great crash.
Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines were in hot pursuit of 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.
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 what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 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. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days. 1st Samuel 31 niv 2011
Saul had saved the people of Jabesh Gilead from Nahash the Ammonite (1st Samuel 11). Remember that? It was Saul’s first great battle for the Lord, and the people hadn’t forgotten his kindness. It was after that particular battle that Saul reminded the people of the Lord’s rescue of Israel – because Saul started well.
Ezra added this to the account of Saul’s death in 1st Chronicles 10:
13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse. 1st Chronicles 10:13-14 niv 2011
…he did not inquire of the Lord…
This extra description of Ezra gives us insight into the statement made in 1st Samuel 28:6 that [Saul] inquired of the Lord…it wasn’t a sincere inquiry, which is why the Lord didn’t answer – and this led to Saul’s death.
[This] depicts the sad end to a life of progressive alienation from God. Saul’s rebellion was his own, but his defeat included other people as well.
—The Chronological Study Bible © 2008 by Thomas Nelson
Three of Saul’s sons (including Jonathon) perished with the disobedient king.
We have to be very careful with who we decide to make loyal alliances – because if they’re in a serious state of disobedience and rebellion, we run the risk of perishing with them.
At the church in Corinth there were false teachers peddling the doctrine that there was no resurrection of the dead, and this doctrine was false. Paul reminded them at Corinth that Christ had indeed been raised from the dead, and that He was the first fruits of those who’d fallen asleep. By denying the resurrection of the dead, these heretics denied the very supremacy of Christ and His rule over all. Paul was angry, and righteously so because it appeared that people were starting to fall into this wicked, anti-Christ doctrine. He warned them:
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. 1st Corinthians 15:33-34 niv 2011
And as it was with Saul, and the heretics at Corinth, ignorance of God and His ways will bring us to perish – and we’ll drag down people with us, just as Saul brought about the slaughter of his own sons.
Now, with all that sort of fire and brimstone out of the way, I want to make perfectly clear that if we are forgiven in Christ – that is, if we’ve asked Him to forgive our sins and be the Savior and Lord of our life – and we fall into some bad doctrine, or some bad company, or we’re backslidden as Saul was, it takes only a matter of seconds to repent and turn from that wickedness and start over with the Lord. And even if you’ve never confessed yourself a sinner, it really does take only a matter of seconds to secure the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1st John 1:9 niv 2011
Not just some unrighteousness…all of it!
Not that’s an awesome truth to ponder.
There may be consequences because of our sin, as was with David, but repentance will bring us into that right relationship with a Savior who loves us so much that He died for us.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 niv 1984
Join us next week for the next part of The Lion of Judah Series: The Grass is Always Greener Part 1.
If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.