Have you ever watched a movie that ended abruptly, without a resolution? You’re waiting for things to turn around, but it never happens. It just ends with a heavy “thud.”
The book of 1 Samuel ends this way.
The final chapter ends the book (and the life of Saul) with a heartbreaking “thud.” You find yourself thinking back over Saul’s life and asking, “How did things come to this?”
Though 1 Samuel chapter 31 tells us when Saul came to his end, the entire book tells us how Saul got to that point. He got there gradually…little by little. He got there by…
- Focusing on the quick way rather than the right way.
- Worrying more about his image than his integrity.
- Being motivated more by fear than by faith.
- Serving himself more than serving God or others.
- Being impulsive rather than being disciplined.
Saul was dying throughout the entire book…little by little. Chapter 31 is just the conclusion of a long, slow death.
Maybe you’ve asked the question, “How did things get to this point?” about your own life.
The record of Saul’s life is a warning to us. If we respond to things as Saul did, we too will be dying a slow, lingering death. We may live a long life, but spiritually we will die a slow death. Remember the words of Jesus…
“Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35 NLT)