每日诗歌: 真神之愛 (http://www.mbcsfv.org/chinese/library/hymncampanions/048.html)
1 Samuel 30 [Read]
1 Samuel 31 [Read]
Luke 17:20-37 [Read]
Saul was dead. After reigning for 40 years, the first king of Israel died in the hands of his archenemy. Irony filled the last chapter of his life, and it is good for us to learn important lessons from it.
First, Saul did not want to be killed by the “uncircumcised” (31:4). His last words revealed his knowledge of the covenant between his ancestors and the LORD. Circumcision set the Israelites apart from the rest of the nations, for “you are to undergo circumcision and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you” (Gen 17:11). “I will be their God” (Gen 17:8), and “you must keep my covenant” (Gen 17:9). However, for Saul such knowledge was on the flesh not on the heart (Rom 2:29). Saul died because “he was unfaithful to the LORD” (1Ch 10:13). Saul himself was actually the uncircumcised one.
Second, Saul was very concerned that he would be abused by his enemy. Even till the end, he was very concerned about himself. Ironically, he was badly abused after his death. His head was severed and placed in the temple of Dagon (1Ch 10:10), and his naked body was hung on the wall to be viewed by Philistines (1Sam 31:10).
Third, after being the king for 40 years, none of his own people had the courage to take his body from the enemy for a proper burial. It was the people of Jabesh Gilead, the ones he saved before he became the king (1Sam 11:1-11), who did it. The respect of his people towards him was thus shown.
Finally, the Bible subtly revealed the core problem of this life. In 1Sam 31, the word “LORD” was not used at all. It was all “Saul”. But when the author summarized his life in 1Ch 10:13-14, the “LORD” was used 4 times in 2 short verses. Indeed, it was the LORD with whom he had the problem, it was the LORD who was in control of his life, and it was the LORD who “put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse” (1Ch 10:14). It was all “the LORD”.
Saul was a tragic character. The “Saul” was sitting firmly on the throne in his heart, and there was no room for “the LORD”. This is the lesson for us to heed. But God is unfathomable, for he raised another Saul from the same Benjamin tribe 1000 years later. And we shall be reading about that Saul for a long time to come.
Congratulations, you have finished the 11th book. Keep on reading.