1 Samuel 31:1-13 (Part 1) – Let Us No Longer Celebrate The Sauls and The Kardashians of the World

Posted: April 23, 2018 in Book of 1 Samuel

1 Samuel 31:1-13
The Death of Saul (Part 1 of 5)

Isn’t it sadly funny that some of today’s most popular personalities are “reality” television show stars. The only reason that they are celebrities is because some producer decided it would be interesting to follow their lives. And the so called reality of their lives, often much of which is staged, is what has made them stars. They have no talent to speak of to make them worthy of stardom on their own. They just happen to have their lives exposed on television. Many of these reality show stars have parlayed their instant fame into wealth. One of the families that fall into this genre of instantly famous reality show celebrities is the Kardashians. We, as the American television audience, seem to be fascinated by the lives and exploits of sisters, sisters Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie. Kim, in particular, has become an major celebrity. All five of these girls are indeed beautiful women. However, none of them have a lick of marketable talents outside their physical beauty. However, we have as collective TV viewers become so interested in their lives that their “show” has been on the air for fourteen seasons now. Can you believe that?

They used to call the show, Seinfeld, “the show about nothing!” It was a tongue-in-cheek homage to the fact that the show would create these wildly funny episodes that would start out about this trivial things that grew into these major things by the end of the show. It was witty and funny and the actors were very talented at their craft. However, Keeping Up With the Kardashians is truly a show about nothing. The shows are about gossip, clothes, boys, sex, and showing off the bodies of the Kardashian girls. That’s it. That’s all. We have now a whole generation of girls that have grown up watching the Kardashian girls parlayed meaningless, vapid, mindless girls who use their sexuality to get what they want. It’s all about the next party and whose doing it with who. It is worse by far than the worst episode of the worst show ever, Three’s Company, back in the 1970s. Kim Kardashian is the most famous of the sisters because she has created this celebrity aura about herself that has gotten her into relationships and marriages with several major musical artists or athletes. It is amazing to me that we as a country of television viewers actually care about this. To live in a society that objects to objectify women for their sexuality, these girls, and particularly Kim, glory in it. But the bottom line to it all is that the Kardashian girls are celebrities because of television. They have nothing to offer. They have no talent. They are not seeking to stamp out social injustice. They are not innately funny. They do not provide us with satire or social commentary. They are not even good actors. But yet they are valued by our society because they are on TV and they look good and that is it. No other reason. They revel in their immorality and sexuality plastered all over our television screens. And to top it off, they off screen lives are now deemed important by celebrity magazines. It makes you want to scream…why? We are a nation enthralled with celebrities. We have even made one our President.

We seem as a nation to care more about style than substance. We care more about Kim Kardashian than we do about the education of our children. We care more about Snookie on Jersey Shores than we do about crime in Jersey City. We care about style than things that matter. That’s what I thought of this morning as we see the end of Saul’s life in 1 Samuel 31. Let’s read about it now:

 

31 Now the Philistines attacked Israel, and the men of Israel fled before them. Many were slaughtered on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons, and they killed three of his sons—Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malkishua. 3 The fighting grew very fierce around Saul, and the Philistine archers caught up with him and wounded him severely.

4 Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to run me through and taunt and torture me.”

But his armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When his armor bearer realized that Saul was dead, he fell on his own sword and died beside the king. 6 So Saul, his three sons, his armor bearer, and his troops all died together that same day.

7 When the Israelites on the other side of the Jezreel Valley and beyond the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. So the Philistines moved in and occupied their towns.

8 The next day, when the Philistines went out to strip the dead, they found the bodies of Saul and his three sons on Mount Gilboa. 9 So they cut off Saul’s head and stripped off his armor. Then they proclaimed the good news of Saul’s death in their pagan temple and to the people throughout the land of Philistia. 10 They placed his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of the city of Beth-shan.

11 But when the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their mighty warriors traveled through the night to Beth-shan and took the bodies of Saul and his sons down from the wall. They brought them to Jabesh, where they burned the bodies. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them beneath the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.

In this passage, we see the end of Saul’s life. It was a life of contrasts. Saul was tall, handsome, strong, rich and powerful, but all of these things were not enough to make him someone we should emulate. He was tall physically, but he was small in God’s eyes. He was handsome, but his persistent, unrepentant sins made him ugly. He was strong, but his lack of faith made him weak. He was rich in earthly treasures but he was spiritually bankrupt. He was powerful in that he could give orders to many but he couldn’t command their respect or allegiance. Saul looked good on the outside, but he was decaying on the inside. A right relationship with God and a strong character are much more valuable than a good looking exterior.

Lord, please help us to become a people that care about the things that matter. Let us ditch our infatuation with meaningless celebrity. Let us emulate those who have strong character and celebrate that. Let us be not like Saul or Kim but seek to be people who care less about image than we do about real things that matter and promote and celebrate and seek after those things. Help us to seek after you and your qualities, Oh God. Let us take a look at the things we celebrate and compare them to the qualities that You desire us to have. Let us be less like Saul and Kim and more like your Son, Jesus Christ. Let us care about the things that He taught us to care about.

Amen and Amen.

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