Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

9 July 2020

Proverbs 11:28

Those who trust in their riches will fall,
    but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

In _____ we trust. In whom? In what do you trust your welfare? Is it in your bank account? Perhaps your trust is in your skill or training. Perhaps it is in your insurance policy. Perhaps your trust is in your ability to call the shots. God has a way of shaking our trust when placed in anything else other than him.

We will be shaken in something. We may have control of our jobs and find our family relations shaken. We may be secure in our relationships and lose our jobs or drop out of school. The truth of the matter is that we cannot control everything which touches us. Our “control” is an illusion, for we may lose anything and everything, except for…

Except for the righteousness given to us in Jesus Christ. The inheritance of salvation is promised to us; it is kept in heaven for us and cannot be stolen or destroyed. We are kept safe in Christ through faith. Jesus said that we are in the Father’s hands and no one can snatch us out. He said that all whom the Father has given him will receive eternal life and will not perish. The result is that the one thing that we cannot lose is the one thing that is eternal.

In God may we trust, so that whatever may befall us in this life cannot shake us, because we know that in him we cannot fall.

1 Samuel 31- 2 Samuel 2

31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.

Saul said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.’

But the armour-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armour-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul and his three sons and his armour-bearer and all his men died together that same day.

When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.

The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his armour, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. 10 They put his armour in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.

11 When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

 

David hears of Saul’s death

1 After the death of Saul, David returned from striking down the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days. On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honour.

‘Where have you come from?’ David asked him.

He answered, ‘I have escaped from the Israelite camp.’

‘What happened?’ David asked. ‘Tell me.’

‘The men fled from the battle,’ he replied. ‘Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.’

Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, ‘How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?’

‘I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,’ the young man said, ‘and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit. When he turned round and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, “What can I do?”

‘He asked me, “Who are you?”

‘“An Amalekite,” I answered.

‘Then he said to me, “Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.”

10 ‘So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.’

11 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 David said to the young man who brought him the report, ‘Where are you from?’

‘I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,’ he answered.

14 David asked him, ‘Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?’

15 Then David called one of his men and said, ‘Go, strike him down!’ So he struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to him, ‘Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, “I killed the Lord’s anointed.”’

 

David’s lament for Saul and Jonathan

17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):

19 ‘A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
    How the mighty have fallen!

20 ‘Tell it not in Gath,
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

21 ‘Mountains of Gilboa,
    may you have neither dew nor rain,
    may no showers fall on your terraced fields.
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
    the shield of Saul – no longer rubbed with oil.

22 ‘From the blood of the slain,
    from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
    the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
23 Saul and Jonathan –
    in life they were loved and admired,
    and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions.

24 ‘Daughters of Israel,
    weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
    who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

25 ‘How the mighty have fallen in battle!
    Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
    you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
    more wonderful than that of women.

27 ‘How the mighty have fallen!
    The weapons of war have perished!’