Saul’s Suicide and the Modern-Day Sin of Self-Reliance

Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilbo’a. And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan and Abin’adab and Mal’chishu’a, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard upon Saul, and the archers found him; and he was badly wounded by the archers.Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and make sport of me.” But his armor-bearer would not; for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword, and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword, and died with him. Thus Saul died, he and his three sons, and all his house and his armor- bearer, and all his men, died on the same day together.
— I Samuel 31:1-6 (plus material from 1 Chronicles)

Saul had such a great start, like many leaders, and a miserable ending. This doesn't mean that Saul isn't in heaven, even Moses had a not-so-stellar ending. God's grace trumps our disobedience as long as there is faith in Him. But Saul's main problem that plagued him eventually was self-reliance. He was head and shoulders above all the other Israelites, a natural leader to the untrained eye, but he lacked security and strength in God, which is why he offered sacrifices disobediently, consulted a medium, and tried to kill David out of Jealousy.


     Saul's failure in the "Hero Story" narrative of 1 & 2 Samuel points out the need for David, the true and humble Shepherd-King. However, even David's sins (together with Samuel's and Saul's) leaves us hanging and hungry for a promised Messiah in David's line who would be the true Shepherd-King...the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is the ultimate Hero here. This doesn't mean David or Saul weren't, for they killed many enemies of Israel and raised up the Kingdom of God. It also doesn't mean that you don't have a responsibility to rise up and fight for the glory of God's everlasting kingdom, reliant upon Christ's strength and grace pulsing through your veins. Renew your vows to the King of Kings and Lord of all Lords today, knowing that you can do nothing apart from Him.

In Prayer Today:

Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the grace we have already been given to trust and fight like David and not be self reliant like Saul (which always ends in despair anyway).