Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on July 6, 2016 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Samuel 31:1-13 (NKJV)

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. 3 The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers.

4 Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.”

But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it. 5 And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him. 6 So Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together that same day.

7 And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were on the other side of the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. 8 So it happened the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 And they cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent word throughout the land of the Philistines, to proclaim it in the temple of their idols and among the people. 10 Then they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.

11 Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose and traveled all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.


In today’s reading we have the privilege of seeing how the Word of the Lord is once more fulfilled for all to witness that our Heavenly Father is truthful. Our text has Saul witnessing first hand how the Lord’s Word spoken by Samuel of his upcoming death was truthful as the Philistines had already killed his three sons, and were following hard to take Saul’s life.

While this was indeed a sad day for Israel, we need to read such accounts and be reminded that all of the words of the prophets, evangelists, and apostles have been fulfilled as truthful except for the last promise. The kingdom of God comes through the Son of David, Jesus Christ, and He shall come again to reign in all His glory, where there is no more sin, death, or power of the devil with which to contend.

Believers look forward to that day when all the agony disappears and we are spared from the effects of those who reject the Word of the Lord, causing us disappointment and heartache. That is why, as we wait for Christ’s return, a believers greatest joy this side of Heaven is receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at Holy Communion. There we have a foretaste of that great feast to come, and unity with other like-minded members of the family of God as we wait for that day.

Prayer: I’m but a stranger here, Heaven is my home; Earth is a desert drear, Heaven is my home. Danger and sorrow stand round me on every hand; Heaven is my fatherland, Heaven is my home. Amen. (TLH 660:1)

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