1 Samuel 31 A Profile Of Two Men

by | Oct 21, 2023 | 1 Samuel, Old Testament

I. David’s Story

A. David’s Back Story

1. In 1 Samuel 26, we saw that David had a second opportunity to kill Saul, but he didn’t.

a. David and his friend Abishai snuck into Saul’s camp and took his spear and water jug.

b. Then David left Saul’s camp, and from a distance made himself known to Saul.

c. David wanted to prove to Saul that he did not have bad intentions against him.

d. Saul confessed that David was righteous and that he (Saul) had played the fool.

e. David escaped unharmed from Saul.

2. In 1 Samuel 27, it seems that David forgot about all of God’s protection over him.

a. In fear and despair, he joined himself to the Philistines.

b. David would go on raids against other people groups, but pretended to be fighting against the Israelites whenever Achish the Philistine king would question him.

3. In 1 Samuel 28, the Philistines prepared to fight against Israel, and David was ready to join them to fight against his own people.

a. Also in chapter 28, Saul consulted a medium about whether he would be victorious against the upcoming battle with the Philistines.

b. The dead prophet Samuel appeared to Saul and told him that he would be killed by the Philistines in this upcoming battle.

4. In 1 Samuel 29, David is not trusted by the majority of Philistines leaders. They reason that David might defect back to the Israelites and that he would turn against them.

a. 1 Samuel 29:8 So David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And to this day what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

b. Here we see the depth of backsliding that had occurred in David’s heart.

5. In 1 Samuel 30, while David was with the Philistine army, the city where he lived had been burned with fire by the Amalekites, and all their families had been kidnapped.

a. His men wanted to kill him, but David strengthened himself in the Lord. He repented.

b. David was able to recover all the families, and he began returning to God.

c. He even sent some of the spoils of war to his Israelite brothers.

d. David humbled himself before God; God began to restore him to his future as king.

B. The Providence Of God On David’s Behalf

1. David had suffered as an innocent man. He did not deserve to be persecuted.

2. David finally lost hope and joined the enemies of God.

3. He sought acceptance from those who hated God. He was willing to fight for them.

4. He was even willing to go to war against Israel his own people,

5. He was disappointed when the Philistine leaders refused to let him fight against Israel.

6. NOTE-If David had been permitted to fight against Israel, he would have been part of the army that killed Saul.

a. The “NO” from the Philistines saved David’s future as king.

b. The loss of Ziklag, David’s city, and the temporary loss of his family, and the opposition of his men against…these were the things that brought brokenness to David and turned him back to God.

c. And while all that was happening, God was removing the wicked King Saul and clearing a path for David to take the throne.

d. NOTE-For God’s people, everything is a “yes”. 2 Corinthians 1:15-23

II. Saul’s Story

A. Saul’s Backstory

1. God had given judges to lead Israel, but the people had wanted a king “like the other nations”. God warned them about the hardships that a king would bring them, such as taxes, fighting in wars, etc. The people insisted, and so God gave them a king.

2. Saul started out humbly, but eventually became insanely jealous of David after David had killed Goliath and had won military victories for Saul.

3. Saul failed to obey God in exterminating the Amalekites, and so God announced that the throne would be taken from Saul, and eventually given to David.

4. David became a huge hero of the common man, and Saul sought to hunt David down and kill him.

5. Both Jonathan (Saul’s son) and David tried to reason with Saul. David did nothing to deserve this, but Saul’s jealousy ran deep.

6. David had the chance to kill Saul twice but didn’t. Saul knew that he was wrong to hunt David, and verbally admitted it, but never repented.

7. Now Saul has been told that he will die, but still, we see no repentance in his heart.

B. The End Of Saul’s Life conflict.

1. V. 1 Because the Lord had departed from Saul, Saul was terrified of this military conflict.

a. Mt. Gilboa was deep into Israel’s territory. Israelites were dying in their own land.

2. V. 2 Saul’s sons were affected by their father’s lack of faith and fear in battle.

a. The sons were sadly killed, but this created a scenario where there would be no ancestor of Saul to try to take the throne. No competition for David.

b. Jonathan would have given the throne to David, but the other sons may not have.

3. Vs. 3-6 Saul was wounded in battle, and he knew that it was a deadly wound.

a. He asked his armorbearer to hasten his death. He was sure to die.

b. Saul did not want to be abused, tortured, or mocked by the Philistines.

c. Saul fell on his own sword and hastened his own death. Saul died with his sons.

4. V. 7 When Saul died, Israelites on the east side of the Jordan Valley also heard about it, they forsook their cities and gave them up for the Philistines to take them over.

a. Jesus taught this principle about leadership amongst God’s people.

b. When leaders falter, fail, or are disqualified, God’s people can spiritually stumble.

c. Mark 14:27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered”.

d. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

e. Vs. 8-13 The bodies of Saul and his sons were dishonored, but faithful and courageous men rescued their bodies and gave them proper burials.

f. 1 Chronicles 10:13, 14  So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. 14 But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

g. David did not rejoice over the death of Saul, the murderous king. He lamented.

h. Turn to 2 Samuel 1:17-27 David was a man after God’s own heart.