1 Chronicles 10:1-14 (Part 1) – God, Can You Get The Man to Just Shut Up…Every Now & Then?

Posted: February 12, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 10:1-14 (Part 1 of 3)

The Death of Saul

I was just talking to my wife last night about how much I dislike the personality of our President Donald Trump, but yet I respect what his administration has been able to foster in our economy, in government regulation, in protecting our borders, and against those who desire to harm American or its citizens or military. As for Donald Trump himself, he is his own worst enemy. If he would just be more presidential when he speaks. If we would just think before he speaks. If he didn’t couch his words in such drastic terms with exaggerated lingo for his detractors, he would not have even been impeached. Sure, you can be forceful and show great strength in the position of President and I think that is what he is trying to do. However, there is an old saying that is true: “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar!” His vitriol toward those who oppose him has fostered an all or nothing view of Donald Trump.

I told my wife last night that it just seems in our country today that if Donald Trump solved all the world’s conflicts and as a result we had world peace and he won the Nobel Peace Prize for the effort, the opponents of Donald Trump would decry it because it was Donald Trump that did it. He has so ostracized his opponents that he cannot even get a hearing among them for his ideas. There natural response is “if Donald Trump’s name is associated with whatever it is, it must be wrong and it must be the worst wrong ever!” It is like an ex-wife who hates everything about her ex-husband and thinks up ways to humiliate and destroy him. The opponents of Donald Trump are like Betty Broderick of the movie, A Woman Scorned, where she became so obsessed with the destruction of her ex-husband that she lost all focus on her life and did everything in her power to destroy her ex. She ended up murdering him and sits in jail today still convinced that she was right to kill him and his new wife. There is that kind of obsessive hatred for Donald Trump by his opponents.

Although Donald Trump may be the most unpresidential President that we have ever had and I would agree with that sentiment, however, until God enlightens me that I should discontinue respecting the authority that Trump has a President because God lets me know it’s time, then it is my duty to pray for him to become a less and less vitriolic President. We must pray that someone takes his Twitter account. We must pray that he learns to choose his words more carefully. We must pray that he learns not to try to destroy his opponents with his every word and every action. Because in politics, your enemy one day may need to become your ally the next. So, for now, until God tells us otherwise, we must respect the position he holds and pray, pray and pray that he improves his people skills and his communication style.

That’s the thing I thought of this morning as I read about the death of Saul in 1 Chronicles. Since the Chronicles books come after the Samuel books in the order of the presentation of the books of the Bible, I already know about David and Saul. It reminded me of what great restraint David showed in not taking the easy opportunities he had to murder Saul and just get him out of the way and assume the throne that God had promised him. He listened to God’s voice in his soul and waited and let life’s circumstances play out where Saul’s arrogance got him killed. In this way, David assumed the throne without opposition as God desired. That idea that David repeatedly expressed of his respect for the position that Saul held and that God would indicate to him the right timing is what I thought of this morning. Even though I am a Republican and I will most likely vote for Trump this fall (because of the socialist alternatives to be offered up on the Democratic side), I cannot stand the personality of Donald Trump. He makes his own disasters and expects us to defend them as Republicans. He is his own worst enemy. I will be glad when he leaves office in 2024 and we can rally behind a more reasonable Republican champion. However, in the meantime, until God says that I should actively participate in getting Trump out of office, I should respect his authority and pray for him to become a more suitable President. With that in mind, let’s read this passage, 1 Chronicles 10:1-14, together for the first of three blogs on this passage:

10 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.

4 Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to 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. 6 So Saul and his three sons died there together, bringing his dynasty to an end.

7 When all the Israelites in the Jezreel Valley saw that their 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 sons on Mount Gilboa. 9 So they stripped off Saul’s armor and cut off his head. Then they proclaimed the good news of Saul’s death before their idols and to the people throughout the land of Philistia. 10 They placed his armor in the temple of their gods, and they fastened his head to the temple of Dagon.

11 But when everyone in Jabesh-gilead heard about everything the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their mighty warriors brought the bodies of Saul and his sons back to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones beneath the great tree at Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.

13 So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14 instead of asking the Lord for guidance. So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

In this passage, we see the actions of the valiant warriors who brought back and buried the bodies of Saul and his sons should encourage us to respect our God-given leaders. David showed respect for Saul’s position even when Saul was chasing him to kill him (1 Samuel 26). Throughout Saul’s reign, David was forced to hide from him. During this time, David had opportunities to kill Saul and to assume the throne that God had promised to him. However, David trusted in God’s promise that he would be king in God’s good timing. It never felt right to David to take Saul’s life, even though Saul was evil. This restraint was evidence that David was listening to God’s action in his heart. David trusted that the Lord would let him know when the right time was. Until then, he would continue to honor Saul’s position and continue to display restraint. It was not up to David as to when and how Saul’s reign would come to an end. During the battle with the Philistines, God allowed the circumstances to play out where there would be no rival heir (even Jonathan) to David’s ascension to the throne.

How easy it is to be critical of those in authority over us, focusing on their weaknesses. We cannot excuse sin but we should respect those in positions of authority over us whether at work, at church or in public affairs. Romans 13 and 1 Thessalonians 5 give us instruction that we are to submit to the authorities over us is when they try to force us to do something sinful, and we know we have to obey God over man. Therefore, if Donald Trump’s personality grates on my last nerve, I must support his holding of his office and pray that God will get through to him to be less vitriolic, less like a street corner bully, and more like a President. It’s ok to have opponents as President because you just are not going to make all the people happy all the time, but Lord, please teach this man not to use a burnt earth policy with his opponents about every single thing.

Amen and Amen.

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