Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and many fell on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard upon Saul; the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by them. Then Saul said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, so that these uncircumcised may not come and thrust me through, and make sport of me.’ But his armour-bearer was unwilling; for he was terrified. So Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.
Saul’s end represents the fate of those who reject God as King. God does not vengefully pursue us with an ax or send murderers to our homes to kill us for rejecting Him. No, when we make the decision to remove God, he simply allows us to follow our own greedy and devastating impulses that end with the sword.
The good news is that God wants us to throw down our arms and come running back to Him. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we can meet the perfect Father even after we have sinned. Hell is a place of our own choosing, not a dungeon that we’re sent to against our will. But any place without God is naturally one of suffering and pain. There is no joy or love in Hell because God is joy and love!
Pray: Heavenly Father, because of your love for us you created a way back to you. No one could withstand your perfection except for you, so you sent your son to speak for us and to intercede on our behalf. Through his sacrifice, we are able to receive your spirit again. Fill us with that spirit so that we can feel remorse, love, hope, joy, forgiveness, and reverence for you. Strike down the idols in our hearts. We have been marching blindly into hell out of a childish spite. Help us understand that Hell cannot fight you, and being away from your presence is the worst punishment imaginable. We want you as our King, God. We humble ourselves before you and lay down our false crowns. Amen.