In a vulnerable moment Saul uttered what became his epitaph:
“I have played the fool.” (1 Samuel 26:21)
When we look at the life of Saul, it is interesting to compare the death of Saul with the death of Jesus.
- The death of Saul appeared to signal an end of hope in Israel.
- The death of Jesus appeared to signal an end of spiritual hope to the disciples.
- The death of Saul had Israel afraid and on the run from her enemies the Philistines.
- The death of Jesus had the disciples scared to death and on the run for their lives.
- The death of Saul brought to Israel the belief that their enemies had won.
- The death of Jesus made it seem like the devil had won.
- The death of Saul paved the way for a new and greater king to rise and bring relief to the nation.
- The death of Jesus led to the resurrection of Christ, the defeat of the devil, the opening of grace, and the glorious beauty of our salvation in Christ.
What can we learn from studying the life & death of Saul?
- We were created to love, obey, worship and enjoy God forever. We are here so that our lives and personalities may fulfill His will and accomplish His purpose. When we obstinately live our lives independently of God, we lose the true meaning and purpose of life. In greater or lesser degree, we like Saul, play the fool.
There is no more sure sign that a man or woman is on the road to ruin than when their hearts or minds are hardened to divine warnings. When men and women are determined to have their own way, when they will not listen to Biblical counsel, when they think they can manage their own lives better than God can manage them, then there is only one way to deal with them – let them go – to walk the path of life they form with their own hands. If they do not stop, confess sin, and turn toward God, then they like Saul, will reap the bitter harvest of failure. This is tragic!
- If Saul’s life teaches us anything, it is that opportunity and talent do not guarantee that you will be a success. I would encourage you to ask yourself, “What advantages, gifts, and talents has God given me?” and “What do I need to do to keep my life on God’s course?” Staying on God’s course is success.