1 Samuel 31: Tragedy – Is That the End?

Here we are in the very last chapter of 1 Samuel. I wish I could say differently, but it’s really not a happy ending.

I’ve read the passage a dozen times before, but after going through 1 Samuel at a slower pace this time around, I must admit the tragedy of this chapter hit me a lot harder than it ever has before. There was a genuine sense of sadness when I finished it.

Read it for yourself. Put yourself in the shoes of Saul, of Jonathan, of David. No matter the perspective, it’s a heartbreaking story: Continue reading


1 Samuel 29-30: Trust in God’s Purposes

The Philistines are almost ready to attack Israel – until they notice there are some soldiers who don’t quite fit in with the rest: David and his band of 600.

“What are these Hebrews doing here?” they demand to know, “We’re about to go fight their people, and you think they’re really going to help us?”

King Achish stands behind David, vouching for his new loyalties and faultless character. Ironic that Achish thinks he’s loyal when he really isn’t, while Saul found him guilty even when he wasn’t. Continue reading

1 Samuel 28: How the Mighty Have Fallen

At this point in our narrative, David has found refuge in Philistine territory and managed to keep up such a false face that the king of Goliath’s hometown believes him to be one of his greatest allies! In fact, as King Achish prepares to wage war against Israel, he calls upon David to help and promises to make the outlaw one of his top men in reward for his “loyalty.” And David, in sync with his undercover identity, agrees to come along and fight against his own people.

The scene closes there and shifts to Israelite territory. The narrator quickly reminds us that the beloved prophet Samuel is dead and that Saul has purged the land of “mediums and spiritists.” Then the camera zooms in on Saul himself. Continue reading

1 Samuel 27: From Robin Hood to Double Agent


We left off in 1 Samuel 26 with Saul meeting up with David one last time. David had a second opportunity to take Saul’s life, and instead chose to show mercy. The two parted ways once more without harm occurring to either one.

In spite of how the two had left off, David did not feel at ease. He did not trust that Saul would keep his pledge to harm him no more.

So what should he do? Continue reading