It wasn’t supposed to end this way.  Saul was God’s chosen one to lead the people.  Saul had it in him to fear the Lord and walk in his ways, but he chose the path of fearing man.  His courage faltered.

Because of that his sons were killed by the Philistines.  When they were coming after him, instead of enduring the inevitable torture, he fell on his sword and killed himself.  His armor-bearer did the same.  This then is how the great and first official king of Israel ended.

And if death wasn’t enough, the Philistines came and chopped off his head.  Then they stripped off his armour and placed it in the temple to the gods of the Ashtoreths.  Lastly they hung his decapitated body from the wall of Beth-shan.

Ironically, though he was a man who let his fears get the best of him throughout his life, it was the “brave men” of Jabesh Gilead who rose up to honor their leader.  They snuck through the night to retrieve his body from the wall and give him a proper burial in the homeland.

In looking at the life of Saul, it is a tragedy.  Mainly because his fears overtook everything.  Courage was in short supply.

We are living in a day and time where we are being overrun by lack of courage.  If we stand up for something, we lose our jobs, our reputation, our family and our friends.  It’s a politically correct culture and is becoming more so.

Also it is clear that hostility against Christians is rising.  It’s not to us to strike back with violence and discord.  That has never been the way of the gospel.  But the way of the Christian is to always preach the gospel.  Persecution is always about denying people access to Jesus.

Soon it will take greater and greater courage to share as the price will cost more on our lives.  And with that we too will have a choice of the kind of people we will become.

Will we let our fears lead us into silence with gospel proclamation?  Or will we let courage rise up?