5.19 1 Samuel -- Death of Saul

Saul had been in a state of mental and spiritual decline for a long time.  The evil spirit was getting the better of him.  In 1 Sam 22:16-19, he went beyond mere disobedience towards God:  he killed the priest Ahimelech and destroyed the vilage of Nob.  How ironic that the punishment Saul withheld from the Amalekite king Agag he did not hesitate to inflict on the priests of God!  Even Saul's men refused his direct command to murder God's priests.  A foreigner and informer, Doeg the Edomite, willingly performed the role of executioner.

         

Again, Saul defied the Lord when he consulted the medium of Endor, to ask her to bring up the spirit of Samuel so that Saul could ask his advice.  Even the medium knew that this was forbidden!

          "Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?" (1 Sam 28:9)

Finally, the long train of misdeeds came to an end.  What David had not permitted himself to do -- kill Saul -- the Philistines accomplished on Mt Gilboa.  Unfortunately, his three sons, including the righteous Jonathan, died with him.  This is the last event of the 1st Book of Samuel.

        

So, suddenly, the pursuit of David as a fugitive, "wanted dead or alive," came to an end -- and the Philistines, those generational pagan enemies of God's people, became the instruments of His judgment.   This is no credit to them -- they were not fighting Saul out of any righteous motives.  Yet God used their hostility and warfare to remove the impediments to His plan for David and Israel.  This is the same role they played at the beginning of the book, when they captured the Ark and caused the death of Eli and his sons.