Seek the truth because it will always find you out: 2 Samuel 1 and 2

How did Saul the first king of Israel die? In 1 Samuel 31:4 it tells that after Saul had been severely wounded by Philistine archers that he took his own life by falling on his sword. An apparently conflicting story is presented in 2 Samuel 1:1-16 about an Amalekite who said that he killed Saul. Which story is true? Why would an Amalekite be fighting near Saul during the battle? Why would Saul ask an Amalekite to kill him? Wouldn’t Saul be worth more alive to an enemy such as the Amalekite? Why did this man find it so important to bring the crown and bracelet that Saul wore to David?

In 1 Samuel 30 David defeated a group of Amalekites that raided their city of Ziklag. Would this man if he truly were an Amalekite who killed the king of Israel want to identify himself to David? The story given in 1 Samuel of Saul’s death fits how david treated the anointed king of the Lord and Saul’s armor bear was also not able to kill Saul because he was filled with fear. David repeatedly refused to kill Saul because God was the one who selected him to be king and it was not for David to choose how or when he would die. When David asks the man who he was and how it was that he was not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed did the mans answer prove that he was lying? Is the man just trying to take advantage of the battle between the Israelites and the Philistines?

In 1 Samuel 31:8 it says that the Philistines didn’t come to Saul’s body until a whole day had passed so it would be likely that this Amalekite who presented himself before David had found Saul and taken the crown and bracelet. It was a minimum of 5 days after the death of Saul when this man appears to David which doesn’t show a great sense of urgency to seek out David. The Amalekite is killed by David because of he said that he killed the anointed one of the Lord. Was David also angry towards anyone who identified themselves as an Amalekite? Was the lie also a reason for the mans death? This Amalekite sought to lie about the situation in hopes of gaining something but in the end he only finds death. How often do you feel tempted to bend the truth of a situation? Do you ever want to take advantage of someone to your own gain? Your actions will always find you out in the end because God is the one who knows our hearts and actions. Live your life above reproach and seek to keep all your actions truthful so that you can bring honor to God.

What were David’s true feelings about Saul? His view of Saul was not through his eyes and experiences alone but they were based upon who God was. In 2 Samuel 1:17-27 David laments over the death of both Saul and Jonathan with words that respect and honor them both. David knew that Saul was chosen as God’s anointed one and he kept that thought in the forefront of his thoughts and actions. How would you react if someone who was embittered to you and constantly sought your demise died? Would you feel grief or relief? Take note of David’s reaction and always seek to honor God in your actions.

After the death of Saul the people of Judah anointed David as king of Israel but the men loyal to Saul made Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, king of Israel. The results of this power struggle was a civil war among the different tribes of Israel. What made one tribe align with another? The dividing lines were simply a matter of interaction and respect for the two kingships. The men of Judah were honored by David in 1 Samuel 30 when spoils from the Amalekite victory were divided among the cities while Gilead remembered all that Saul did for them so they honored Ish-bosheth the son of Saul.

What was it like for brother to fight brother? In the end Israel as a whole became weaker from the struggle amongst itself because as they fought and killed each other building up discord and attitudes of discontent. This is seen today as people fight and bicker within their family, workplace, neighborhood, or church. There can be no benefit from discord because it will always make people look to themselves to justify their actions instead of fixing their focus on God alone. The next time you face a situation where you want to entrench and fight a battle do the noble thing and seek resolution.

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  1. Faith developed in communion: 2 Chronicles 11 and 12 | a little bit of me… - August 4, 2010

    […] war in Israel is nothing new because you have the fighting that occurred between the descendants of Saul and David in 2 Samuel and you have the sons of Israel rising up against the tribe of Benjamin in Judges 19 and 20. Why […]

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