Day 19

The Death of Saul

from the 1 & 2 Samuel reading plan


1 Samuel 30:1-31, 1 Samuel 31:1-13, Psalm 56:3-4, Luke 4:18-19

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 30:1-31, 1 Samuel 31:1-13, Psalm 56:3-4, Luke 4:18-19

Yesterday we read about Saul’s moment of desperation. He knew he was facing a mighty battle against the Philistines, and he knew he was facing them alone. He was without Samuel, and he was without the Lord, who had turned away from him after his repeated disobedience. And Saul, who must have been near-crazed with fear, broke his own laws and the law of God by consulting a medium to try to find an answer.

Today, we read about David in a similar situation. The Amalekites had raided the city of Ziklag, burned it, and captured all of the women and children. David and his army returned to Ziklag, but there was nothing left. In fact, they “wept loudly until they had no strength left to weep” (1 Samuel 30:4). That sentence strikes the deepest fear into my own heart, which is rather predisposed to fear and anxiety. I can’t imagine that kind of pain.

And yet David responds with faith. Even though his wives have been captured, his city burned, and his army is threatening to rise up against him to stone him to death—David responds with faith. David is facing a loneliness and uncertainty perhaps even greater than Saul’s before the battle at Mount Gilboa. David has let his people down, the very people God has entrusted him to lead. But 1 Samuel 30:6 tells us, “David found strength in the Lord his God.”

I am humbled by David in this passage. I am convicted by Saul’s impatience and need to control, but I am humbled and inspired by David’s faith and his generosity. His response to trial was to trust the Lord. And his response to great victory was to praise the Lord and share the spoils. David, who knew he would be king, claimed no victory outside of the Lord’s faithfulness.

Even when I do choose the way of David—fragile yet desperately leaning on the Lord because I know only He can sustain me—I often forget His faithfulness when my moment of trial has passed. It is only when I intentionally take time to reflect on the Lord’s guiding, preserving hand that I remember to give thanks and to testify to His goodness.

My prayer today is not only to carry with me the confidence of faith, but to remember to testify to the Lord’s great faithfulness in my life. I can testify to His glory through my worship, His presence through my prayers, and His mercy through my actions toward others. I can testify to His grace in my quickness to forgive and His provision when I am generous.

David’s actions remind me to not only rely on the Lord daily, but to also tell of His great deeds. When I live with gratitude in response to Christ’s love for me, I testify to the gift of His sacrifice on the cross and the unimaginable mercy of the gospel.

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Melanie Rainer is the director of content for JellyTelly, where she writes and edits family spiritual formation resources. She is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, a passionate home baker, and makes her always-messy home with her husband, Price, and their delightful daughter, Ellie, near historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee.

Post Comments (46)

46 thoughts on "The Death of Saul"

  1. Michele says:

    “Even when I do choose the way of David—fragile yet desperately leaning on the Lord because I know only He can sustain me—I often forget His faithfulness when my moment of trial has passed.”

    Exactly! That’s me. I pray along with you that we’ll always take time to remember. Because we are such a forgetful, fragile people. And all the more I give praise that God is such a faithful, loving Father! I’d have given up on me eons ago.

  2. Kristen Clegs says:

    Chapter 30 made me think of Job and his response to the loss of everything: I flipped to that book of the Bible and found a quotation, a question that sums up the path along which God wants to lead each of us: “Is it possible that a man or woman can come to love God for Himself alone so that there is a fundamental contentment in life regardless of circumstances?” That’s the kind of love that David had, that Job had, that I want.

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