These chapters round off the first volume of the stories of the Kings of Israel, with David defending his people against one enemy while Saul takes his own life in defeat at the hands of another. His death seems inevitable, as he is wounded at the heart of a routed army, but suicide adds one final hint of darkness to the end of his story. Having rejected the anointing of God and the loyalty of those around him, Saul dies alone in the midst of a battle.
Three key lessons seem to emerge from Saul’s life, particularly for any in leadership but to some extent for all disciples.
- Whatever your gifts and God’s call for you, your effectiveness is limited by the cap on your humility – and by the level of obedience to the LORD that flows from that.
- Keep your focus on the tasks Good gives to you and fulfil them. Don’t get distracted by comparing yourself to others and imagining that they – and others – are out to get you or to outdo you.
- Don’t give up on God. He lives, so while you live there is still hope.