I Samuel 31
An Israelite Soldier
The Philistines were too strong for us.
We couldn't match their weapons or their numbers. What would you do if a swam of bees flew toward you. Run? Precisely.
We hid, far enough away to be safe, but close enough to watch the Philistines do their worst. Those evil men went into our homes, stole our animals, clothes, and anything they could touch. They cooked with our pots, ate from our plates, killed our animals for food.
That night the Philistines drank their fill of wine and danced around fires, mocking us. My anger boiled because they not only mocked us, they mocked our God.
The next day the Philistines searched the fallen Israelite soldiers, taking whatever pleased them. When they found the bodies of Saul, our beloved king, and his sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua they...cut off Saul and his son's heads and stole their armor.
Word spread like wild fire to all the Philistine cities telling their wicked people to shout from the temple of their idols so that all would know: The Israelite king was dead.
Our spies watched the Philistine lords set Saul's armor inside the temple of the Ashtoreths. Why? My king's armor in the temple of an idol? A temple that does not worship God?
They didn't stop there.
The Philistines took Saul and his son's bodies and hooked them to the wall of Beth Shan for all their people to mock, and spit on.
Enough. No more.
I and the other men from Jabesh Gilead rose up like a mighty stealth army unified to restore the honor of our king. We traveled all night. Absolutely nothing would stop our mission. We sneaked behind enemy lines to the place where Saul and his son's bodies hung.
The Philistines may think they are mighty, but we had God on our side.
We tenderly took down the bodies of our beloved king and his sons and carried them back to Jabesh Gilead to give them an honorable burial under the tamarisk tree.
We were so overcome with grief, every man banned together and fasted for seven days to morn and honor the memory of the first king of Israel, a man chosen by God.
The tear stains you find on this journal, were unavoidable...
image courtesy of Christianimageresource.com
1. What made the Philistine too strong for this battle?
2. What did the surviving Israelite soldiers do?
3. What did the Philistine soldiers do to the cities?
4. What did the Philistine soldiers do to the slain soldiers?
5. What did the Philistine soldiers do the Saul and his sons?
6. The men of Jabesh were __________ and chose to _________
7. Why did the men of Jabesh fast for seven days?