The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. Proverbs 11:5.
On the plain of Shunem and the slopes of Mount Gilboa the armies of Israel and the hosts of the Philistines closed in mortal combat. Though the fearful scene in the cave of Endor had driven all hope from his heart, Saul fought with desperate valor for his throne and his kingdom. But it was in vain. “The men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa.” Three brave sons of the king died at his side. The archers pressed upon Saul. He had seen his soldiers falling around him and his princely sons cut down by the sword. Himself wounded, he could neither fight nor fly. Escape was impossible, and determined not to be taken alive by the Philistines, he bade his armor-bearer, “Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith.” When the man refused to lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed, Saul took his own life by falling upon his sword. Thus the first king of Israel perished, with the guilt of self-murder upon his soul.29Ibid., 681, 682.
By following the dictates of Satan, Saul was himself hastening the very result which, with unsanctified ability, he was endeavoring to avert.
The counsel of the Lord had been disregarded again and again by the rebellious king, and the Lord had given him up to the folly of his own wisdom. The influences of the Spirit of God would have restrained him from the course of evil which he had chosen, that eventually worked out his ruin. God hates all sin, and when man persistently refuses all the counsel of heaven, he is left to the deceptions of the enemy, to be drawn away of his own lusts, and enticed.
The first king of Israel proved a failure, because he set his will above the will of God. Through the prophet Samuel the Lord instructed Saul that as king of Israel his course of action must be one of strictest integrity. Then God would bless his government with prosperity. But Saul refused to make obedience to God his first consideration, and the principles of heaven the government of his conduct. He died in dishonor and despair.
Conflict and Courage p. 174
—–Please pray for Ken who has an infection that won’t go away. The doctor has stopped all antibiotics. Pray for God to heal him. Ron
—–We are requesting prayer for God’s guidance as we seek a place to live that will be more conducive to raising our little one, and also to continue the work we’ve come to do. A place with some nature nearby would be ideal.
“But my God shall supply all your need…” D and K
When I was a little girl, my grandparents did not have a car. We walked or rode the bus everywhere. When I was six, my mother saved up and bought a car that was nine years old. The salesman promised her that it was very reliable and would give her many years of service. He lied. My mother was so happy and proud of that pale green 1942 Buick. She took me for a ride and that made me so happy. As we rode along, we felt so free. We no longer had to rely on anyone else to take us where we wanted to go. She envisioned many years of being able to go where she wanted when she wanted. We would take so many trips together. We would have so much fun. We were full of high expectation.
She had not driven the car for too many days, however, when she began to notice that the engine was not sounding quite right. She wasn’t sure what was wrong. Every time she got gas, the gas station attendant told her that she needed oil. That engine leaked like a sieve. First one thing and then another went wrong with that car. It seemed to be falling apart right before her eyes. Finally, after only having it for three or four months, she had the junk man tow it away. She was very disappointed. She had to wait another fourteen years before she was able to get another car.
The evil one is like that used car salesman. He promises us years of great happiness if we will “buy” the pleasures that he offers. He says to us, as he said to Eve, “Ye shall not surely die.” Gen 3:4 He lies. At first that forbidden pleasure seems wonderful. We feel so free, so elated. But that feeling does not last. It is not long until we begin to experience a “let down.” That “darling sin” no longer gives us happiness. Things begin to go wrong. Our life begins to fall apart. The freedom that we envisioned when we listened to the devil’s urgings, never materializes. Instead, we are left with emptiness and regrets. Indeed, we find ourselves bound with the chains of our sin. We long to be free, but are helpless.
Solomon had this experience. At the beginning of his reign, he was humble and sincere. “In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee, and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment, Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.” 1 Kings 3:5-14
What a great future Solomon could have had. Yet it was not too many years before Solomon was a miserable man and an oppressive ruler. He had gone against the commandment of the Lord, “he shall not….multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” Deut 17:15-17 The record says, “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites, Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.” 1 Ki 11:1-3 Solomon began as a great and wise king, yet he became a slave to the pleasures of sin that his wives urged upon him. Those pleasures that had seemed so desirable left him empty inside. In his dissatisfaction he laments, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity….I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecc 1:2-14 In the end of his book, he urged, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” 12:1,13
Let us shut our ears to the whisperings of the evil one and turn away from his suggestions. Let us flee to the Saviour for the deliverance that we so greatly need. Let us place our weak and trembling hand in His Mighty and Powerful Hand and allow Him to lead us all the way to His Heavenly Kingdom is my prayer.