How the mighty have fallen!”2 Sam 1:27

What a difference we see in the life of one man, Saul, from the beginning of 1 Sam – when he was described as “an impressive young man without equal” (1 Sam 9:2) to what we witness happening to him by the end of the book. Envy, Bitterness, Strife, Rejection of God, Rebellion all led Saul from the throne to the doorstep of the Witch of Endor (1 Sam 28) and finally falling upon his own sword on the battlefield (1 Sam 31).

It is quite easy for anyone to look backwards and understand how Saul fell to his eve3ntual demise. By allowing sin to take hold of his heart – and rejecting the Word of the Lord from the Prophet Samuel – Saul found himself in over his head. Like a drowning man – he could only tread water for so long before the consequences of his choices pulled him under.

This reminds me so much of our world today. While on the outside it may seem that our neighbors, friends, family have crafted their lives apart from God and His Word – the truth is that eventually (just like Saul) their choices will pull them under. What can start out with such promise ends up a battlefield suicide.

Beyond just the lesson from Saul – there is even a greater lesson for us as we witness the actions and choices of David. As 1 Samuel closes and 2 Samuel opens we transform our gaze upon the man who represents the future of the nation of Israel. David has been holding in his heart the truth that he is the rightful King – previously anointed by Samuel on the outskirts of Bethlehem in 1 Sam 16. Yet – instead of sitting on his throne, we see David ducking from spears and running for his life. Numerous times he had the power to redeem himself within his grasp – yet this man of high integrity refused to do so… waiting on the Lord to redeem him instead.

At the curtain closes on 1 Samuel, the audience has just witnessed the death of Saul & his sons (including Jonathon) on the battlefield. As 2 Samuel opens – an eager Amalekite sprints to David with what he thought would be received as joyful news. King Saul is dead! David’s enemy is dead! Now the throne is open for the taking.

Unfortunately for the Amelekite, David does not see this news in the same light… and as the Amalekite stretches the truth to paint himself in a favorable position with the new king – David instead reacts with sorrow and vengeance, costing the Amalekite his life.

Did you catch the huge point here? I don’t know how you would have reacted – but if the guy who had been making my life pure misery for the Past 10-12 years – with 21 different attempts on my life alone – was reported to me as finally dying I think I would have thrown a party! But David, this man of high integrity, instead weeps for him. He refers to Saul (along with his best friend Jonathon) as “loved and gracious “ (2 Sam 1:23). He commands the nation to weep for them and mourn their loss! He writes a song about them and teaches it to all the people!

How could David do this? What gave him the self-control needed to continue to love a man who had treated him so poorly all those years? We will learn later on that David was no saint… a person like all of us. So what did David posses that made him special?

It was his heart for God.

David really loved the Lord – not just as a show but deep in his being. He cherished his time with God – wrote songs of worship to Him – and built his very life around the Words of God.

The dichotomy between Saul and David are stark.

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

 

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