II Samuel 1
|Mount Gilboa, site of Saul's last battle|
My men were exhausted after the battle, they needed a break. A time to heal and be with their families. I must admit, I enjoyed watching the men play with their families and fixing their homes. Such happiness.
Three days after we returned to our homes in Ziklag a messenger arrived. He looked terrible. His clothes were torn and he had dust on his head. The men brought him to me, saying he had urgent news.
I invited him into my home. He immediately fell to the ground in respect.
I said, "Where did you come from?"
He answered, "I escaped from the camp of Israel."
"How did the battle go? Please tell me all you know."
"The soldiers fled from the battle, many...injured or dead. Saul, Jonathan, and the other sons,...I'm sorry to say are all dead."
I didn't know if I could trust this stranger's word. He didn't look like an Israelite. Maybe he wanted to trick me into going with him. "How do you know that Saul, Jonathan, and his other sons are dead?"
"I, uh, happened, by chance, to be on Mount Gilboa where the Israelite soldiers camped. I found Saul, leaning on his spear. I looked in every direction and saw Philistine chariots and horsemen chasing after him.
"Saul turned to me. His frightened face showed he knew the Philistines would soon reach him. He called to me, 'Who are you?' I said, 'I am an Amalekite.' He said to me, 'Please stand over me and kill me. I can't stand the pain any longer, yet my life continues.' He looked back toward the approaching Philistines and shouted, 'Hurry!'
"I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure he could not live after he had fallen. I took his crown and the kingly bracelet and brought them here to you, my lord."
The agony of Saul's death hit me like a fierce wind. I grabbed hold of my clothes and ripped them, and at the same time released a cry from deep in heart. All the men from my army did the same. Our cries of agony filled the air. The king of Israel had died.
We wept all that day, refusing to eat anything. All we did was mourn our loss of Saul, Jonathan, and his other sons, also for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
Late that night I called the man back to speak with me. He had acted a bit suspicious. Maybe he wanted to receive a reward for killing the king. "Where are you from?"
"I am an Amalekite."
My men raised their eyebrows. Did we not just attack a band of Amalekites for burning our city and kidnapping our wives and children? He definitely was not to be trusted.
"How was it you weren't afraid to kill the Lord's anointed?"
The man didn't answer. Fine with me. I turned to the young men in my army and ordered them to execute the Amalekite for killing the king of Israel, the Lord's anointed.
He had no right.
Photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
1. Who had attacked the Ziklag, the city where David, his men, and their families lived?
2. What did the messenger tell David?
3. Who killed Saul?
4. Who all did David and his men morn for?
5. Where was the messenger from?
6. Why did David think that was suspicious?
7. What did David do and why?