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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saul's End

In 2nd Samuel 1, Saul meets a desperate and terrible end. In the heat of battle, Saul realizes his sons have been killed, so he asks his armor bearer to kill him. The armor bearer refuses to kill God's anointed. Saul commits suicide then by falling onto his own sword. The armor bearer sees what he does and also commits suicide.

There are lots of interesting things about this story, but I had a new thought today. David had at least 2 opportunities to kill Saul. He would have been very justified in self-defense. However, he decided not to. Just for grins, let's play out the scenario differently. Let's pretend like David killed Saul that first time, when Saul was sleeping or even the second time when Saul was using the bathroom in the cave. Saul would have been gone, but his sons would have been in line for the throne. How would David have ever become king? But then again, David's best friend Jonathan might have lived, and they could have shared a life-long friendship. Or perhaps that friendship would have turned to betrayal in a fight for the throne?

Instead, David would not murder the king. He would not murder someone anointed by God. Instead, the king commits suicide. Because of the difference in scenarios, all of the king's sons are dead in battle. David has a clear path to the throne. God handles the situation in such a way that His purpose of establishing David as king are most easily accomplished. However, these purposes are not accomplished without pain. David lost his best friend Jonathan.

I wondered as I contemplated all of this if David ever regretted not killing Saul, if he had any regrets about the way it all played out in the end. If he blamed himself at all for Jonathan's death or not. There's no way of knowing this. And it's probably not even important. I was just curious. My brain works in strange and mysterious ways.

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