April 20, 2021, DAY 108: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 Samuel 26-31

April 20, 2021

1 SAMUEL 26-31

Today we conclude our journey through 1 Samuel. The stage is set for things to change in Israel. King Saul’s army is sacked by the Philistines and King Saul takes his own life after witnessing the loss of his army and the death of all three of his sons. Saul abandoned God, leaving him with no one to turn to in his greatest hour of need.

Seek the Lord’s perfect understanding of 1 Samuel 26-31. Read 1 Samuel 26-31. Let’s journey!

The books of First and Second Samuel were originally one book, that was later split in two due to its length. Before the start of this book, Israel had resided in the Promised Land for some time, and we saw their continued moral decline under the rule of judges. The books of Samuel are books of transition. In these books, the 12 Tribes of Israel are united into one nation under one king. First and Second Samuel are a character driven story, with the three main characters of Samuel, Saul, and David. These men, especially Saul and David, have their own character strengths and weaknesses. We are going to study these as we journey through their lives.

1 Samuel 26-31: King Saul is pursuing David and David had the opportunity, and was encouraged by Abishai, to kill Saul as he slept in camp surrounded by his soldiers. David’s response had not changed: he would not kill the anointed of God. King Saul promises to let David alone. King Saul returned home and David went on his way. David knew that King Saul was consumed with killing him. David, with his 600 men, decided to dwell in the land of the Philistines because they knew King Saul would not pursue him there. David settled in the land of Ziklag provided by Achlsh with whom David had found favor. Achish, although Philistine, trusted David completely; so completely, that Achish made David his bodyguard. As the Philistines gathered to fight Israel, David volunteers to join Achish’s forces to fight against Israel, but the Philistine commanders do not trust David and refuse to allow him to go into battle with them. King Saul, who is terrified of the Philistines, seeks counsel through a medium. Achish sends David and his men home to Ziklag, where they find their homes, burned to the ground, their families kidnapped, and their possessions taken by the Amalekites. David and his men were in utter anguish. David was about to face rebellion from his men. David seeks the Lord’s advice. David’s men overtake the Amalakites and retrieved their families unharmed and recaptured their property. David settles a dispute among his men. Meanwhile, King Saul’s army is destroyed by the Philistines, and his three sons are killed. King Saul wounded and in despair takes his own life rather than lose it to an “uncircumcised” Philistine. King Saul’s body, like his sons, was mutilated, and King Saul was decapitated by the Philistines. The Philistines hung his body from the wall at Beth Shan and put his armor in the Ashtoreths temples. King Saul’s, the first King of Israel, body, with his sons bodies, was retrieved by the people of Jabesh Gilead from the wall at Beth Shan. Their bodies were taken to Jabesh where they were burned and their bones buried underneath a tamarisk tree. (1 Samuel 26:1-31:13)

A very sad ending for the first king of Israel.

After reading chapters 1 through 5, consider the following: What strengths and weakness did you observe in the people in today’s reading? Did you see yourself in any of the characters you read about today? How so? What can you learn about your character from today’s reading? Reflect on your own character, is it all pleasing to the Lord?


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