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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why Saul Died

In the middle of genealogies, we read, So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it; And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).

It is interesting that God gives us exactly why Saul died. One is his rebellion against God’s explicit command to wipe out the Amalekites. Saul spared King Agag and the best sheep oxen, cattle, lambs, and all that was good. Because of this non-compliance with God’s specific instructions, God rejected Saul. Samuel tells him, For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king (I Samuel 15:23). The second reason Saul died is, curiously, because he consulted a witch instead of the Lord (1 Samuel 28:13-17). For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft . . . .

We know Saul was wounded by Philistine archers and then he asked his armor bearer to kill him. The armor bearer wouldn’t, so Saul committed suicide by falling on a sword. (1 Chronicles 10:3-4)

In fact, the Bible tells us God took Saul’s life and handed his kingdom over to David. God is sovereign. This means He rules. If God hadn’t allowed it, Saul wouldn’t have died. God punishes sin. In this case, Saul paid for his rebellion against God and his consultation of a medium with his life, his sons’ lives, the loss of his kingdom, and the deaths of many of his posterity. How very sad!

God’s permitting Saul’s death for his sin reminds me of the New Testament passage 1 Corinthians 11:30, which is talking about Christians dying because they disregarded the importance of the Lord’s Supper. They didn’t obey Jesus’ command to observe it seriously, remembering His death until He comes again. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Saul died because of his disobedience and his dependence on the enemy for advice. New Testament believers died because of treating lightly Jesus’ death for them. Some profound lessons here.

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