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I Samuel 31

I Samuel 31

Thursday, 24th August

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

David transformed from an orphan to a true son, his life began to change, on the other hand, Saul chose to be an orphan, and it led to his death. Not only death but his kingdom and his family are also destroyed. He had God’s calling, God’s anointing, God’s favours, God’s power, but he chose the identity of the orphan. He chose to walk further away from God. In I Samuel 28, it talks about when Samuel died, Saul went to see a medium. When Samuel was alive, Saul chose not to follow and to listen to him.  But when Samuel died, Saul was completely lost. He was filled with fear and worry, he lost his calling and his royal identity.

It’s really difficult for us to say sorry, to admit our mistake in front of people. Even when we apologised we may not mean it in our hearts. Saul never wanted to admit his mistakes, he hid when his enemies came to attack him, and he went to a medium instead of seeking God. When Saul was walking in God’s way, he got rid of all the mediums in Israel, but when Samuel died, he went to the medium, he wanted Samuel back. Is Samuel really important to Saul? It’s because he didn’t have God in him anymore, he was unable to face God, and he was afraid.

V1-3 ‘Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers.’ All his life, Saul was competing with David, he was afraid and he was jealous, and he didn’t treasure what God prorated for him. Saul only saw how even though he killed thousands, David killed tens of thousands; but he didn’t see that he was the king. We want to be like others, we see what others have are better than what we have, and we don’t glorify God in what God has given to us. When we don’t have a thanksgiving heart, then the orphan spirit will take over our lives.

V4-6 ‘Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it. And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him. So Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together that same day.’ Saul and the Israelites following him were afraid. Saul’s followers were like Saul, they were fearful, they didn’t have peace, they chose to run away, and they chose to give up. Even when Saul died, he only thought about himself, and he didn’t think about God. Saul didn’t want to be abuse by his enemy and he chose death. Even until the end Saul didn’t seek God. So often we also put all our focus in ourselves, we thought we can deal with everything by ourselves. We become self-righteous and enter the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

V7-10 ‘And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were on the other side of the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. So it happened the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent word throughout the land of the Philistines, to proclaim it in the temple of their idols and among the people. Then they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.’ Our lives are not in our hands, we don’t have the authority to end our own lives or the lives of others. When we live in the orphan spirit, we see ourselves like god, we want to make our own decisions, and we and bind with this religious spirit of self-righteousness. We must see our fruits, then we can really see our lives.

V11-13 ‘Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men arose and traveled all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.’ What do we choose? Are we willing to admit our mistakes and to grow under the Tree of Life? David chose to align with God and to align with others, can we learn from David? Stop seeing what we are lacking, stop focusing on ourselves, and start being the true son.