Yesterday we concluded with a statement about the priceless value of integrity. Integrity was something sadly lacking for one person we didn’t get to in the account of Saul’s death. Before we do, though, let’s review how Saul died:
the Philistines attacked Israel, and the men of Israel fled before
them. Many were slaughtered on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. The
Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons, and they killed three of his
sons – Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malkishua. The fighting grew very fierce
around Saul, and the Philistine archers caught up with him and wounded
him severely. 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’” (I Samuel 31:1-4a, NLT).
armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword
and fell on it. When his armor bearer realized that Saul was dead, he
fell on his own sword and died beside the king. So Saul, his three sons,
his armor bearer, and his troops all died together that same day” (I Samuel 31:4b-6).
busy on his own battlefield, had no idea what had happened. So when a
young man from Saul’s camp came to David and told him, David questioned
“‘Where have you come from?’ David asked.
‘I escaped from the Israelite camp,’ the man replied. ‘What happened?’
David demanded. ‘Tell me how the battle went.’ The man replied, ‘Our
entire army fled from the battle. Many of the men are dead, and Saul and
his son Jonathan are also dead.’ ‘How do you know Saul and Jonathan are
dead?’ David demanded of the young man” (II Samuel 1:3-6).
Here’s where this guy made the worst mistake of his life:
“The man answered, ‘I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was
Saul leaning on his spear with the enemy chariots and charioteers
closing in on him. When he turned and saw me, he cried out for me to
come to him. ‘How can I help?’ I asked him. He responded, ‘Who are you?’
‘I am an Amalekite,’ I told him. Then he begged me, ‘Come over here and
put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.’ So
I killed him,’ the Amalekite told David, ‘for I knew he couldn’t live.
Then I took his crown and his armband, and I have brought them here to
you, my lord’” (II Samuel 1:7-10).
David responded with the million-dollar question: “Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?” (II Samuel 1:11).
survived the battle – if indeed he was ever even in it – this fellow
came upon the dead king and took “his crown and armband,” bringing them
to David in the hope that he could score points with the one next in
line on the power pyramid. What was his reward?
said to one of his men, ‘Kill him!’ So the man thrust his sword into the
Amalekite and killed him. ‘You have condemned yourself,’ David said,
‘for you yourself confessed that you killed the Lord’s anointed one’” (II Samuel 1:15-16).
was all a lie. It was done to impress. But the young man’s scheme went
very, very wrong. Integrity, folks. There’s no substitute. The price for
dishonesty can be overwhelming.
Copyright © 2012
Judy Woodward Bates