Red Village Church

The Death of Saul – 1 Samuel 31: 1-13

Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. 3 The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. 5 And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. 6 Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.

This morning as we gather together as Red Village Church, we come to the final sermon on our study of the OT book of 1 Samuel. This is a study that we have been in for about a year and a half as we have studied the events of this book, which cover between 90 to 100 years worth of time.

Because today is our final sermon, I thought it would be appropriate to back up to the beginning of our study to give a quick flyby review of where we have been. To start by way of reminder, the events of 1 Samuel begin around 1100 or so BC, not too far from where the book of Judges ended.

Which was a period of time for God’s people that was not a great time. It was not a great time because throughout the book of Judges, we read how God’s people were doing what was right in their own eyes, rather than doing that which is right in the eyes of God, which is never a good thing. In fact, that is a hopeless thing, which is the context of when this book was written – a hopeless time for God’s people.

As 1 Samuel started to capture some of that hopelessness, we read the story of a young woman named Hannah who was barren, having no children. Culturally, for that time, it was a very hopeless situation for Hannah to be in. Yet, even though Hannah was in a hopeless situation, she put her hope in God. She set her heart to trust in the Lord, doing so in ways that she faithfully worshipped God at the temple and she prayed to God, trusting that He is the one who can do all things.

And as you may remember, as Hannah prayed to God, He did so by asking for a son, doing so by making a vow to the Lord. That if God gave her a son, she vowed that she would give that child back to the Lord into unique service to Him as a Nazarite.

Well, in our study, God of all hope met Hannah in her hopeless state. God heard her prayer, and in time, the Lord answered her prayer as Hannah became with child, a child that she would name Samuel, which is a name that can carry the meaning “offspring of God.” So really, from the start of 1 Samuel, even though hopelessness was all around, we see some real glimmers of hope.

Then in our study, we read that at the appropriate time, Hannah kept her vow to the Lord and took Samuel to the temple, where she would dedicate him to the Lord. Samuel would be trained to become a priest, and in our study, we learned that Samuel would receive this training from a man named Eli, who was the high priest.

As you remember, Eli was a kind of complicated figure in that he seemed to be caring and humble, having some real trust in the Lord. Yet at the same time, he seemed to be a real absent father because Eli had two sons who were also priests and who made a complete mockery of the worship of God. Eli seemed completely aloof about this.

While Eli was aloof about what was going on, the Lord was not. So we read that God brought judgment on Eli and his sons, which had a rippling effect that hurt the rest of God’s people. This was played out in the capture of the ark of God by the enemies of God, the Philistines. It was a hopeless situation for God’s people.

To capture how hopeless this was, you may remember that one of the daughters-in-law of Eli died while giving birth to a son. Before she died, she gave her newborn son the name Ichabod, which means “the glory has departed.” This name captured how God’s people felt when the ark of God was taken from them, where the hopeless felt that God had left them.

However, even though Eli and his sons were faithless, in 1 Samuel, there was hope given to the people. God remained faithful, and not only did God bring His ark into the land by defeating the Philistines through a plague of tumors, but the Lord also put Samuel over His people.

Samuel would serve God’s people as the great prophet and priest, which for a time spilled much hope into God’s people. The blessings of God overflowed as His people were able to live at peace in the land. However, despite the blessings of God and the peace filling the land, God’s people put themselves back into a hopeless situation.

They did this by deciding that they did not want God to rule over them as king. Instead, they desired to be like the nations around them and have an earthly king rule over them—a king who would mirror their own hearts. In many ways, they wanted to go back to the hopelessness of the Judges, where they wanted to do what was right in their own eyes.

Even though Samuel warned God’s people that these desires for a king after their own heart would come back to haunt them, the people refused to listen to Samuel, and they continued to demand the king they wanted. This led to God giving His people over to their own desires as a man named Saul was anointed to be their king.

Now, as Saul started out his reign, as you remember, he actually started out pretty good, which will come back into play in our text today. In his good start, Saul was even used by God to help bring further renewal to the kingdom. However, shortly into his reign, Saul became more and more proud and more concerned about his own power and control, which caused him to spiral out of control.

In our study, the first big indication of where Saul was tragically headed was when Saul grew impatient, rejecting clear teachings of Scripture as he offered up an unlawful sacrifice. Saul did this with the hopes of manipulating God because he was afraid that the people under his care were starting to abandon him and lose confidence in him.

However, as we know, we can’t manipulate God; that is a hopeless desire, a hopeless endeavor. God will not be manipulated. Because Saul broke this clear teaching of Scripture, God’s judgment fell on Saul, rejecting him and his lineage from being king, which will also come into play in our text today.

From God’s rejection of Saul and on to our text today, we have read in so many different ways in which Saul’s life spiraled out of control. Saul hopelessly had one sinful failure after another, all because he was unwilling to repent and unwilling to trust in the Lord, turning from his obsessive desire to keep his power and control as king.

However, even though God rejected the people’s king, Saul, in accordance with His grace and kindness and His eternal plan, God once again brought hope to His people. In 1 Samuel, we read that the Lord anointed a new man to be king, who in time would replace Saul. This man would come from God’s own heart, a man named David, who in many ways was an unlikely character to be God’s chosen one. He was a young, small, overlooked shepherd.

Yet, through this unlikely character, this was how God would bring about hope. Throughout much of 1 Samuel, there has been an ongoing comparison between the people’s hopeless King Saul and God’s King who would bring about hope, David. Even though David was far from perfect, overall in 1 Samuel, he proved to be a character of faith who at times had an aim and conduct in life that was worth emulating.

David was used by the Lord in ways to care for His people, which we discussed last week in 1 Samuel. In that text, we got one last look at David, where he proved to be the man after God’s own heart by reflecting the heart of God. David trusted God’s Word, acted in wisdom, and courageously defeated the evil Amalekites who had captured the wives, sons, and daughters of David and his men.

In our passage last week, not only did David rescue his people, but we also read how he was kind and gracious towards others, including a group of 200 of his men and people located all over Judah. Through David, God gave hope.

Now today, as we close out this study with one last and final look at Saul, the man after the people’s heart, we come to the tragic end of his life. Throughout 1 Samuel, his life has served as an ongoing warning for us of the consequences that come with rejecting God and His Word to live a life for oneself. Such a life is hopeless.

With that as our intro, for the last time in this series, let’s look back, starting in verse 1, where we see that the Philistines and Israel were fighting against each other. This information helps us see that things progressed from where we last saw Saul in chapter 28. In chapter 28, Saul was seeking counsel from a medium, which demonstrated how hopeless of character Saul was. He sought the medium’s counsel because the massive Philistine army was preparing for battle against Israel.

Now in our text today, the preparation for battle was over, and the fighting had begun.

As these two rival nations engaged in yet another war between each other, we see that the Philistines, as just mentioned, had a massive army and were having great success in this battle. Israel was on the run, fleeing to Mount Gilboa. It’s worth noting that in chapter 28, we read that Saul and his men were camped in Gilboa, so the fleeing to Mount Gilboa in verse 1 of our text today likely refers to the men leaving the camp at the foot of the mountain and now fleeing up the mountain with hopes of escaping.

Even though the Philistines were able to strike dead a significant portion of Israel’s army and successfully scattered the army by putting them on the run, they were not satisfied. They wanted more. So they pursued, and as they pursued Israel, they caught up to Saul and cornered him and the military party that he had with him. They overtook them, putting Saul in a hopeless situation. The Philistines were able to break through and get to Saul’s sons, including his son Jonathan, whom we read about a few times throughout our study of 1 Samuel. Jonathan was David’s best friend and is certainly presented to us as a positive character.

As the Philistines got to Saul’s sons, including Jonathan, we read that they killed them seemingly right there on the spot. But for the Philistines, even that was not enough to satisfy them. So in verse 3, a hard battle passed on between the Philistines and those who were with Saul. As the hard battle pressed on, arrows were being shot, presumably back and forth between each side.

In our text, we read that at least one of the arrows fired by the Philistines hit its intended target and badly wounded Saul. Saul understood he was in really bad shape, and I’m sure he knew that this wound would eventually take his life. Moreover, Saul understood that there was no way he could carry on or get away from the Philistines to die in peace. He also realized that it was just a matter of time before the Philistines would break through whatever men remained trying to protect him. If he had not already died by the time of the breakthrough, the Philistines would finish him off.

So, as an attempt to save a bit of face and not give the Philistines the satisfaction of watching him die or engaging in the cultural practice of mutilating his body before he died, we see in verse 4 that Saul mustered up some of his remaining strength to call over his armor-bearer to give the armor-bearer his dying wishes.

In the text, Saul’s dying wish was that his trusted armor-bearer would take out his sword and thrust it into Saul’s dying body, doing so quickly to prevent the uncircumcised Philistines from coming and mistreating him. However, when the armor-bearer heard this dying request, he could not meet it because he was overcome with fear at the thought of taking the life of Saul, the anointed King.

This situation made me wonder if this armor-bearer was present in chapters 24 and 26 when David could have taken Saul’s life but didn’t, as David felt it was not right to strike down the anointed one. It’s hard to know why the armor-bearer was overcome with fear. All we know is that in his fear, he was not moving and clearly was not going to take Saul’s life. Therefore, Saul took it upon himself to take his own life, which is such a sad, tragic, and hopeless end to his life.

Our text tells us that Saul had enough strength to fall on his own sword, an act that killed him. It’s such a tragic and hopeless end for the king of Israel. In verse 5, as the fearful armor-bearer watched Saul take his life, he was overcome with even more fear. So, we read that the armor-bearer did likewise and, like Saul, this man fell on his sword and died, another tragic and hopeless end of life.

In verse 6, which is almost like an epitaph for this tragic scene, we read, “Thus Saul died, and his three sons died, and his armor-bearer died, and all of his men who were with him at the end, they all died.”

All of them dying together on the same day. It’s truly a tragic end, a hopeless epitaph. In verse 7, the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, as well as those who were beyond the Jordan, could see the men of Israel fleeing from the Philistines. It became abundantly clear that the rout was on, with the Philistines overtaking the entire army of Israel.

As this news of what had just happened to Saul and his sons started to make its way around, the people of Israel understandably were filled with panic and fear. They, too, started to flee the area to get out before it was too late, leaving with such haste and urgency that they abandoned their cities. I presume they left behind everything that filled the cities, perhaps outside of a few personal items they could easily grab on their way out.

As these cities around the area became instant ghost towns, we read that they did not stay empty for long. The homes quickly became occupied by the Philistine soldiers, who started to live in them as spoils of war. One does not need much insight to recognize that this was a dark and scary time for God’s people. Their king and his heirs had just died, their army was on the run, they themselves were on the run, they left behind all they had to escape with their lives, and now their hated enemies were starting to fill the land. It was an incredibly dark and tragic time, so full of hopelessness.

In verse 8, to add salt to the wounds and further discourage the Israelites, we read that the next day, when the Philistines came up to the strip of slain bodies, which no doubt were dead bodies scattered all over Mount Gilboa, they found the one body they were really hoping to find—Saul’s. Not only did they find Saul’s dead body, but they also found the dead bodies of his three sons, which must have brought the Philistines much delight.

As they found the dead bodies, even though they could not mutilate the bodies when there was still life in them (which was Saul’s fear and in part led to him taking his own life), in verse 9, we see that finding the bodies already dead didn’t stop the Philistines from mutilating them. They cut off the head of Saul and stripped him of his armor. One can’t help but wonder if this was a bit of payback by the Philistines for what happened to their giant hero Goliath, who had his head cut off and armor taken by David after David struck down the giant in the valley with a stone.

As they cut off the head of Saul and stripped him, presumably naked by taking his armor, they sent messengers all over the land of the Philistines to gloat and let the people know the good news of their success in battle.

In the text, the messengers went all over the land on their gloating tour. They went to the house of their idols to pay tribute to their gods, whom they credited for the victory. They also went to the people, declaring their good news, gloating and bragging that Saul, God’s anointed, was dead, and they had killed him.

In verse 10, as the messengers went all over the land, we read that when they were in the house of their idols, particularly the temple of Asherah, there they put the armor of Saul. This action is similar to when the Philistines captured the ark of God back in chapter 5 and placed the ark in the temple of their god Dagon. It was symbolic that the Philistine God had defeated the God of Israel. 1 Chronicles 10 also tells us that for a time, Saul’s head was placed in Dagon’s temple.

In our text, we see that the rest of Saul’s dead and naked body was taken to Beth Shan, where it was accompanied by the bodies of his sons. As the dead and naked bodies arrived at the scene, they were fastened to a wall, most likely the outer city wall, so that as others entered the city, they could further observe and gloat over Saul. All of this was like salt in the wounds for God’s people; it couldn’t get much worse for them.

In the text, the messengers went all over the land on their gloating tour. They went to the house of their idols to pay tribute to their gods, whom they credited for the victory. They also went to the people, declaring their good news, gloating and bragging that Saul, God’s anointed, was dead, and they had killed him.

In verse 10, as the messengers went all over the land, we read that when they were in the house of their idols, particularly the temple of Asherah, there they put the armor of Saul. This action is similar to when the Philistines captured the ark of God back in chapter 5 and placed the ark in the temple of their god Dagon. It was symbolic that the Philistine God had defeated the God of Israel. 1 Chronicles 10 also tells us that at least for a time, Saul’s head was placed in Dagon’s temple.

In our text, we see that the rest of Saul’s dead and naked body was taken to Beth Shan, where it was accompanied by the bodies of his sons. As the dead and naked bodies arrived at the scene, they were fastened to a wall, most likely the outer city wall, so that as others entered the city, they could further observe and gloat over Saul. All of this was such salt in the wounds for God’s people; for them, this was about as bad as it could be.

Returning to the grim reality, Saul was dead, his sons were dead, much of their army was dead, and whatever was left of the army was on the run. This led so many of them to be on the run. Their homes were abandoned and then occupied by the Philistines. Now, the Philistines were mocking their God. For God’s people at this time, they had to question where their God was in all of this. I’m sure they felt that God had forsaken them, left them to their own devices. If we were to continue the story from 1 Samuel into 2 Samuel, it appears that it took a good 5 to 10 years after this scene, 5 to 10 years into David’s reign in Israel, before they could get their revenge and defeat the Philistines. That’s a long time.

Just think back in your own mind to what you were doing 5 to 10 years ago and how much has happened in that time window. For God’s people, that must have felt like an eternity where not much was going well for them. It had to feel hopeless. They must have been tempted to think, “Where is God in any of this?”

Now, as we finish our text and this sermon series, we do so by seeing real evidence of God’s grace in the midst of this hopelessness. It’s an evidence of grace that provides hope that God had not abandoned His people. Look back with me starting in verse 11, where we read that as the Philistines were gloating and mocking Saul, ultimately mocking God, word got back to the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead about what was happening with the body of Saul.

As the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead became aware of how the Philistines were mistreating the dead body of Saul, we see in verse 12 that some righteous anger rose up among the valiant men of that area. In their righteous anger and an act of great courage, these men traveled the 10 to 15 miles to Beth Shan that night. This journey was risky and dangerous because, first, they were heading right into the teeth of the Philistine area, and second, doing so at night, while it provided cover from the Philistines, also made them vulnerable to attacks from various animals in the region.

In our text, as the valiant and courageous men reached Beth Shan, we read that they went to the bodies of Saul and his sons that were hanging from the wall. As they found the dead and mutilated bodies, they took them down and carried the bodies back on the 10 to 15-mile dangerous journey to Jabesh. The trip home might have been even more dangerous, as various predatory animals from miles around no doubt could have smelled the dead bodies.

As the men completed this dangerous round trip, we read that they burned the bodies of Saul and his sons. This was not a complete incineration of the bodies but just enough to burn off the remaining flesh.

In verse 13, they were able to take up the bones of these men and give them a proper burial. They buried the bones under a tamarisk tree in Jabesh, where for the next few days, they proceeded to mourn through fasting.

Now, a few points of interest here. First, as it relates to the tamarisk tree, it’s not fully certain of the symbolism here, but it does seem that this type of tree was symbolic for royalty. In fact, if we go back to chapter 22, Saul was conducting kingly business under a tamarisk tree.

Second, and perhaps most interesting, is the backstory of Jabesh Gilead. By the way, Dr. Jay Tuck was rightfully excited about this at the beginning of the week. In the backstory, this isn’t the first time we’ve read something about Jabesh Gilead in 1 Samuel. If you turn back in your Bible to chapter 11, we read about them there.

In chapter 11, the Ammonites had besieged this town. As the Ammonites took control, they decided that they wanted to gloat over their accomplishment, also through body mutilation. So they gave the men of Jabesh Gilead an option to sign a treaty with them, which included the requirement for the treaty that the men of Jabesh Gilead would gouge out their right eyes. This not only brought disgrace to these men but chapter 11 tells us that this act would be a disgrace for all of Israel.

In the backstory of Jabesh Gilead, they were given 7 days to consider their options, and the town was even given time to see if anyone from Israel would come to their side to defend their cause. As word started to spread about the terms of the treaty, this information made its way to Israel’s new king, Saul, who, as mentioned at the beginning of the sermon, actually started out pretty good. This scene in chapter 11 is one of the reasons why.

As Saul heard about the treaty, he was deeply moved, and the Spirit of God powerfully rushed on Saul, empowering him. This allowed Saul to rally the rest of Israel to come together as one with a massive army. Saul led Israel into Jabesh Gilead, where they slaughtered the Ammonites and defended Jabesh Gilead from great shame and embarrassment. This act in chapter 11 led to the people overwhelmingly supporting Saul through a great celebration.

Now, fast-forwarding from chapter 11 to today, no doubt some of the valiant men in verse 12 of the text were men whose eyes were spared by Saul. It appears that they never forgot what Saul did for them and how he honored their lives by saving them from great shame and disgrace. Here, as 1 Samuel ends, these men decided it was right to, in a sense, seek to pay back Saul by risking their lives to spare him great shame and disgrace, giving him and his sons a proper burial.

By the way, as we keep reading the storyline into 2 Samuel, we learn that shortly after David was anointed king of Judah, he became aware of what the men of Jabesh Gilead had done for Saul. In one of his first acts as king, David declared these words to these men, the men of Jabesh Gilead: “May you be blessed by the Lord because you showed this loyalty to Saul, your lord, and buried him. Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing.”

Even though there was so much hopelessness in chapter 31, as the chapter ends, through these men we see evidence of God’s grace. It shows us that God did not leave nor forsake his people, but He was at work through His people to give hope. That ends our text, our look at 1 Samuel. Now, how I want to finish off this time, this series, is really where we started this series and what I’ve been circling around throughout this entire sermon today: hope.

And how I want to do this is by first talking about hopelessness, which, as I’ve mentioned, was the historical setting of 1 Samuel. It was a pretty hopeless time for God’s people as everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes. Hopelessness was also how this book starts out with a woman named Hannah who was barren, which was culturally hopeless. Hopelessness runs through the book between awful priests, a captured Ark, Ichabod, and King Saul who, for much of his reign, made life hopelessly miserable for himself and the people he ruled over, all the way into his death and the hopeless passage that we just looked at.

So first, I wanted to finish this time by giving some thoughts as it relates to hopelessness. But then, after working through hopelessness, I wanted to end off this sermon, this sermon series, by looking at hope, which is also running through 1 Samuel. It starts with Hannah having the baby she named Samuel, God fighting for his people time and time again, God giving his people David, the king after his own heart, and our text today with God raising up valiant men to act in courage. Leaving 1 Samuel with hope, an evidence that God and his grace were still with his people.

But as mentioned, first let me talk about hopelessness. And how I want to do that is by simply placing hopelessness under the banner of living for self. Friends, that’s hopeless. That was the issue in Judges, everyone hopelessly doing what is right in their own eyes. And that was the issue in all the different hopeless situations in our study, including hopeless Saul. He was so self-centered, obsessively living for self. Which, for us, is the warning of Saul’s life. The warning of Saul’s self-centered gaze kept growing and growing as Saul rejected more and more of God’s Word. As he became more power-hungry, more controlling. All of which led to his tragic end of life in the text today.

Where Saul’s living for self led not only to his own death but also to the death of his sons. So many of his men died, and the people he was entrusted to care for and protect had to flee their homes, leaving Israel in utter chaos, utter hopelessness. Now, for us, as we live for self, the magnitude of hopelessness will not be the same as Saul’s, but the properties will look so similar. Because as we live for self, in the end, it’s always a rejection of God, His Word, His power, His control over our life, which is at the heart of all sin, and it always leads to death. It almost always leaves behind some kind of path of destruction that affects others as well, particularly those closest to you.

Friends, I do think that is one of the biggest takeaways we can get from 1 Samuel, particularly with Saul – just how hopeless it is to live for self. To say it again, for Saul, this living for self kept building and building, all because he was unwilling to stop living for self, repent, and turn to live for God. So for us this morning, as you hear the warning of Saul, as we are reminded one last time in our study of 1 Samuel, friends, it is utterly hopeless to live for self. It leads to misery and death.

So this morning, as we close this series, wherever you see yourself hopelessly living for self, please hear the warning of Saul and repent. Turn from sin and turn to God, who is our hope.

Which leads to the second part of how I want to end this time, end this sermon series – by looking to the God of all hope. And at least for me, this truth of the hope found in God is there all the way through this book, and it is one of the most important takeaways we are to grab hold of.

Now, I already mentioned some of the places where God provided hope in hopeless situations, so rather than going through those again, let me just finish by sharing the hope of God in the immediate context of our passage today.

First, have hope that God will stay true to His Word. And in our text today, how God stayed true to His Word was that He made it clear to Saul what was going to happen as Saul continued to fall into sin.

Have hope that God stayed true to His Word; He always does. God does not lie, and we can find such hope in that even when everything around us feels hopeless.

Second, have hope that God will bring justice. We all want justice to come, which is why we can spend so much time being frustrated, complaining, and feeling discouraged. It’s because we feel like things are unjust, and we want justice to come. In our text, justice came for Saul. Saul got what he justly deserved. Friends, have hope; God will make things right. He is a just God.

Now, I do have to say here before I move on that while we all want justice to come to the world around us, we do have to be mindful that justice will also come to us as well. When left to ourselves, we all are under the justice of God, which I will give you some good news on that front in just a second. But know if you are living for self, you are under the just judgment of God, which, by the way, is hopeless if you try to work your way out of it on your own. We can’t justify ourselves.

But, as mentioned, I do have some good news for you.

Have hope that God works through His people, and it is through His people that we often see the evidence of His grace in our lives. This is one of the many reasons why we hope everyone is connecting, that you would be mutual encouragement to one another. We hope that we would all be a source of grace in each other’s lives, used by God to encourage one another and provide hope.

As mentioned in this hopeless story, God provided hope through the men of Jabesh Gilead who acted with valiant courage. They risked it all to honor and bless Saul and his sons. Friends, may that be true of us. For the glory of God, may we too be valiant and courageous. May we also be used by God as ministers of grace, providing hope.

And by the way, there is no doubt that there are some here this morning who walked in feeling a bit hopeless, who could really use someone like you to minister grace and hope to them.

Have hope. God has a king. In the immediate context of 1 Samuel, we know that king was David, the man after God’s own heart. But, as mentioned, as great as David was, he was far from perfect. However, in the goodness of God, according to His eternal plan, in time, God did send a king who, although tempted in every way, was without sin—a perfect king in every way who kept and fulfilled God’s word.

This king, like Saul, died for sin, although unlike Saul, who died for his own sin, this king died for the sins of his people. He bore the wrath of God in their place so that, through Him, their sins could be forgiven. Like Saul, this king was also high and lifted outside of the city gates as his body hung as a spectacle while evil men gloated. However, unlike Saul, this king’s body did not hang on a wall; he hung on a cross, where he died.

Just like Saul, this king had a valiant and courageous man come for his body so that this valiant man could give this king a proper burial. The valiant man laid the body of this king in a tomb where he was wrapped in linen cloth. But, friends, unlike Saul, this king’s body did not stay in the tomb.

Because on the third day, to fulfill Scripture, this man—the great God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ—rose again from the dead, giving us good news. Any and all who confess and turn from their sin, who stop living for themselves, and by faith live for Him, will have real hope.

Because unlike Saul, who brought forth such misery and death, King Jesus provides blessing and joy, peace and life to His people. King Jesus promises that one day He will come back for us and take us to an eternal home—a home that we ourselves will dwell in forever and ever in His kingdom that will have no end.

So, friends, have hope. No matter how hopeless life might feel, there is good news: God has a king, a good king, God’s own eternal Son, Jesus Christ, who will make all things right and promises to never leave nor forsake His people.

And for us, dear friends, as we close out this series and wait for our King to return, may we be valiant, bold men and women who live for the King to honor Him, the King who gave His life for us. May we be willing and eager to go all over, starting with our places of work, our neighborhoods, our friends and family, and to the ends of the earth, to those who have yet to trust in the King. Not to gloat, but to plead with them the good news that through Jesus Christ, God saves, and through Jesus Christ, God always gives hope.

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