On to week 5 of our study on King David. David is described as a man after God’s own heart. We have seen David go from the shepherd’s field to become a national hero when he defeated Goliath. But shortly after this great victory he was plunged into one of the darkest periods of his life. For years he was on the run from King Saul as an outlaw. Saul was out to take his life. During this time there were some close calls where it was only by the grace of God David continued on. We also looked last week at the very interesting story of David, Nabal, and Abigail. This week Saul’s reign comes to an end and David secures the throne as king. After all those years of hardship, David is reaping the harvest from the seeds of faithfulness which he had sown so for so many years. Sometimes it seems like the harvest will never come, but for those who remain faithful it will arrive.
Our reading for today ends first Samuel and begins 2 Samuel. The reading is 1 Samuel 31 − 2 Samuel 1.
Why did Saul commit suicide (31:4)? Based on the readings from previous weeks, why did this happen?
It was a matter of honor. Saul did not want to be captured, taunted, and tortured by the Philistines. He believed it would be more honorable to take his own life. He did not want the Philistines to have the pleasure of taking him alive.
Saul was forced into this position because he had not listened to Samuel or to the Lord. He was no longer a man after God’s own heart. He had used the army to hunt David rather than use the army for the purpose of defending against the Philistines. Had Saul used the army for it’s intended purpose there is a good chance this would have never happened.
What do you think was Saul’s legacy? How do you think you will be remembered after you die?
Saul’s legacy was not a very good legacy to have. He is remembered more for his failings than for the good things he had done. He reigned over Israel for 42 years which is longer than David would eventually reign. But he did not fulfill his purpose and his calling to defeat and defend the nation against the Philistines. That is something David would accomplish. Ultimately, Saul allowed himself to be distracted from what God had called him to do because of his lack of faith.
Why do you think the Amalekite lied about killing Saul (1:6-10)?
This Amalekite was likely thinking he might get some reward for killing Saul. He figured that David would be happy that Saul was dead.
How did David respond to the news from the Amalekite (1:13-16)?
But David was not happy at all and had the Amalekite killed for having confessed to killing the anointed one. It is a good lesson not to lie.
Why do you think David wrote a lament for Saul (1:17-27)? Do you grieve or rejoice at the defeat of your enemies? What is the godly response?
Saul not only wrote the lament for Saul, but he also wrote the lament for Jonathan. Jonathan was his friend.
David was also grieved for Saul as God was grieved for Saul. I am sure David thought about what might have been. He might have thought about what would have happened if their had been peace between him and Saul. It would have been a much happier ending.
God does not rejoice in death. Death is the result of our rebellion (sin) against God. It is our prayer that we would be as heart broken over sin as God is heart broken over sin. We pray that what breaks God’s heart would break our heart.