1 Samuel 31

* Saul's defeat and death. (1-7) Saul's body rescued by the men

of Jabesh-gilead. (8-13)

1-7 We cannot judge of the spiritual or eternal state of any by

the manner of their death; for in that, there is one event to

the righteous and to the wicked. Saul, when sorely wounded, and

unable to resist or to flee, expressed no concern about his

never-dying soul; but only desired that the Philistines might

not insult over him, or put him to pain, and he became his own

murderer. As it is the grand deceit of the devil, to persuade

sinners, under great difficulties, to fly to this last act of

desperation, it is well to fortify the mind against it, by a

serious consideration of its sinfulness before God, and its

miserable consequences in society. But our security is not in

ourselves. Let us seek protection from Him who keepeth Israel.

Let us watch and pray; and take unto us the whole armour of God,

that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having

done all, to stand.
8-13 The Scripture makes no mention what became of the souls of

Saul and his sons, after they were dead; but of their bodies

only: secret things belong not to us. It is of little

consequence by what means we die, or what is done with our dead

bodies. If our souls are saved, our bodies will be raised

incorruptible and glorious; but not to fear His wrath, who is

able to destroy both body and soul in hell, is the extreme of

folly and wickedness. How useless is the respect of

fellow-creatures to those who are suffering the wrath of God!

While pompous funerals, grand monuments, and he praises of men,

honour the memory of the deceased, the soul may be suffering in

the regions of darkness and despair! Let us seek that honour

which cometh from God only.

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