1 Chronicles 10
-The narrative of Saul’s death is depicted in this chapter that parallels 1 Samuel 31. Israel was embittered in a struggle with the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, which is a mountain on the edge of the Jezreel and Jordan Valley’s intersection point. This was a strategic area for conquest with the city of Bethshean nearby, where Saul’s body was fastened to the wall (1 Samuel 31:10). As the battle raged the men of Israel begin to flee as they were losing and falling slain on the mountain. The Philistines pursued Saul and his three sons striking down Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua and injuring the king badly with the archers. As he feared the uncircumcised coming to abuse him he demanded his armor bearer to deliver a mercy killing, which the servant would not do. Therefore, Saul fell on his own sword, thus committing suicide when he felt like all was lost. His armor bearer likewise fell on his sword and died (1 Chronicles 10:1-6). Israel forsook their cities in the area at this point and the Philistines came and lived in them (1 Chronicles 10:7). The next day the Philistines found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They stripped him and took his head along with his armor around the land celebrating their victory giving credit to their idols and offering them the spoils of war. Saul’s head was fastened in the house of Dagon (1 Chronicles 10:10) and his body was pinned to the wall of Bethshean (1 Samuel 31:10). His weapons were on display in the temple of Ashtaroth, the goddess of fertility and sex (1 Samuel 31:10). In other words, he was made a mockery of by the Philistines. When the valiant men of Jabesh-gilead heard all that the enemy had done, they arose and took away the body of Saul and his sons and buried them properly under the oak in Jabesh. After that they fasted seven days (1 Chronicles 10:11-12). “So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the LORD, because of the word of the LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, and did not inquire of the LORD. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).” *Application* A harsh reality for us should be to understand that anything we do against God and His will can have very severe consequences, not just for us, but for those in our family or tribe. The principle of cause and effect are at work here. Keep your life pure in the sight of the LORD God Almighty and He will bless you. Forsake Him and don’t be surprised when horrible things come upon you and the enemy gets an undeserved victory with mockery and disdain. God doesn’t need any of us, and if we are unfaithful, He has no other recourse but to raise up another who will have a heart fully devoted unto Him. This is how David is described (1 Samuel 13:14).
Verses to Memorize: 1 Chronicles 10:13-14