A Turning Point

Read: 1 Samuel 31:1-13

Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together. (v. 6)

I can’t help it: I love to read a story with a good happy ending. I like smiles and growth, maybe a big sigh of relief, or the recognition that wisdom and understanding has come to the characters. First Samuel is not this kind of story. Much growth, and even wisdom and understanding, come to the various main players, but this book just doesn’t have a happy ending. Saul, his sons, his dedicated armor-bearer, and his extensive legion of men all die on the same day.

The book ends tragically and leaves me depressed by Saul’s wasted potential and a struggling, war-torn kingdom. There is a great and lingering sense of unfinished business here, which will be addressed in 2 Samuel. For those of us who crave a happy ending, we can be grateful for the hope we hold over the fact that God’s story isn’t done yet.

First Samuel vividly presents the major transition that took place from the time period of judges to that of monarchy. David had long been anointed as upcoming king, for which we’ll have to keep reading. And, even more thrilling, from David’s line would come the Messiah, the Savior of the world. God showed up, mighty and fully capable of making his plan victorious through a bunch of pretty normal, struggling people and did it all so that we might be loved and saved.

As you pray, thank God for this story and how you are written into it.

About the Author

Katy Sundararajan is a specialized minister in the Reformed Church in America. She has garnered her pastoral perspectives from posts as a college chaplain, a missionary, an international student advisor, and a higher education and leadership ministries program coordinator.

This entry is part 31 of 31 in the series 1 Samuel: Trusting God through Big Transitions