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Two Deaths . . . A Study in Contrast, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Cross Radio
June 24, 2022 7:05 am

Two Deaths . . . A Study in Contrast, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 24, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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Today from Chuck Swindoll, a man plays the pool when he knowingly fights against God man plays the pool when he disobeys God even in seemingly small matter.

The band plays the pool when he tries to cover up his disobedience. God by religious excuses man plays the pool when he tries to persuade himself that he's doing the will of God when all while down deep in his heart he knows otherwise far outweigh the short-lived benefits today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll continues our biographical series called David a man of passion and destiny.

In this next message will be reminded that even those who once followed God with devotion can forget the futility of their rebellion will begin by reading the passage together so that the story unfolds before our eyes. Chuck titled his message to deaths of study.

In contrast, the late Peter Marshall while he was the chaplain of the Senate told the story that is hard to forget. Listen carefully. It was an old legend of a merchant in Baghdad who one day he sent his servant to the market before very long.

The servant came back white and trembling and in great agitation, said to his master down in the marketplace. I was jostled by a woman in the crowd, and when I turned around I saw that it was death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture master.

Please limit your horse promised he sent away to avoid her a ride to Samara and there I will hide and death will not find me the merchant lent him his horse and the servant galloped away in great haste. Later, the merchant went down to the marketplace and sought death standing in the crowd.

He went over to her and he asked why did you frighten my servant this morning. Why did you make that threatening gesture death responded that was not a threatening gesture. It was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samara.

We all have an appointment with death, and for some life will end tragically as it did for King Saul and all of his sons as we learned today from the section of Scripture were looking at.

Centuries later, however, Jesus would fulfill the plan of God the father from eternity past and appear on earth as a man and as our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, as Paul puts it in his letter to Timothy for those who have believed this gospel and whose lives are in Christ there is no more fear of death.

Christ is abolished that fear. These two deaths as described in our message today. Our studies in contrast please turn with me in your Bibles to first Samuel chapter 31 will begin our reading with verse one. First Samuel 31 verse one the Philistines were fighting against Israel and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and Phyllis Lane on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons and the Philistines killed Jonathan Benedetto and Malka Shula, the sons of Saul, the battle went heavily against Saul and the archers hit him and he was badly wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor bearer draw your sword and pierce me through with it. Otherwise, these uncircumcised would climb and pierce me through and make sport of me, but his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid so Saul took his sword and fell on it when his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead. He also fell on his sword and died with him. Thus Saul died with his three sons. His armor bearer and all his men on that day together.

When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley with those who are beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled in the Philistines came and lived in them came about in the next day when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his weapons and sent them throughout the land of the Philistines to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people they put his weapons in the temple abashed her off, and they fastened his body to the wall.

Now, when the inhabitants of Jabez newly had heard what the Philistines had done to Saul all the valiant men rose and walked all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Chan in the came to Jabez and burn. There they took the bone buried them under the tamarisk tree fest seven Insight for living resources designed to help you dig deeper into today's topic go to Insight.org and now Chuck Swindoll's message titled to deaths study in contrast sometime ago my oldest son and I did something unusual we took a stroll through the local graveyard.

Couple things happen.

First of all you get a good deal of perspective on life. Something about reading gravestones that does that. Second, you realize that your day is coming, and as you read the truth of what people write and you will be amazed by the way, what is written is a whole lot of things about life sort of passing and review I read this past week about a tombstone that reads with these unusual words up in New England. Beneath this, sought a lump of clay, lies Arabella Young, who on 26 May began to hold her tongue. We run across a tombstone that read these words really read these words, you can't win, tells a lot about that person does what's going to appear on your epitaph. What words will say what your life is all about. Not something to think about.

It's interesting that everyone on every one of those stones. There appears the same mark, no matter how long they lived are or where they were born, or what day they died or how great or how small. There is the same mark that that reveals their life and it's a small little horizontal appearing between two dates and that his life from the beginning of that to the end of it and it is about the right size. In light of eternity to describe our lives. There is a life that is lived yet life is a lot like a coin you can spend it anyway you want to but you can only spend it once we once how are you spending were taking a little bit of a parenthetical trip in the study of David to discover what happened to the man who was the arrow in his side. The dart is life, the savage the man who could have been a disciple, but was if he could've had his way was David's murderer. I want to see. First of all, his epitaph and then I want to see how he died.

It's a sad pathetic study and tragedy really the epitaph is in five words as they appear on the 21st verse of the 26th chapter of first Samuel locate that single verse, and I'll show you the words as they appear.

First Samuel 2621 Saul said, I have sinned return, my son, David, for I will not harm you again because my life was was precious and your site this day, behold, is the epitaph I have played the fool and have committed a serious error in one fell swoop, that describes the life of Saul, believe it or not.

I have played the fool I had God on my side and I live as though he were not in existence. There was a great glorious sunrise in my career in which he anointed me as the king or at least the people did.

I was the pick of the litter in Israel.

I was ahead, above all, the other man was handsome. I was attractive. I was winsome I was a strong natural leader. I was the man who could do the job voted the people of Israel, but they didn't know the inside of me and I played the fool, Jason Lowe Baxter describes what it means to play the fool.

Listen carefully man plays the fool when he neglects his godly friends, a man plays the pool when he goes on enterprises for God before God is sent him a man plays the pool when he disobeys God even in seemingly small matters a man plays the pool when he tries to cover up his disobedience to God by religious excuses man plays the pool when he tries to persuade himself that he's doing the will of God. When all the while down deep in his heart he knows otherwise.

He plays the fool when he allow some jealousy or hatred to master and enslave and deep pre-p.m. assaulted a man plays the pool when he knowingly fights against God man plays the pool when he turns from God. The God he has grieved and seeks an alternative in spiritism in traffic with spirits in the beyond whether or not you want to believe it. Saul did all those things and he knew it. He willfully disobeyed and he wrote on his tombstone.

David played the fool people look at me and I think my king but God sees me and he says what a fool. What a foolish empty life. How before return to his death.

I want you to ask yourself the role you're playing today is an authentic, is it genuinely Christian, if someone were suddenly able to snap you from time into eternity.

What would your family right in the stone better than that. The only one that can read the secrets of your heart. What would he write on hard to be that honest but so not only lived a foolish life. He died a foolish death you can't believe it's the Saul that began so brightly as he began in first Samuel 31 just five chapters later we read the ending of his life and it's so sad it's the obituary account. But God writes of Saul's closing days know one of them. One of the helpful things about ministries that we traffic with people in crisis so we can live in an unreal world.

I don't know many pastors doing the right kind of job who are unrealistic fantasy kind of men were a realistic bunch. Not perfect but realistic. We live in a real world will people die daily wear or tragedy strikes, calamity gets her carnality strikes deeply and lives are are led astray in the common bleeding and bruised and finally willing to admit what's happened sometimes I don't know Saul had apparently lost all interest in counselors. He had no desire to be with those that could help him in a man who could have been strategically used of God to train than his replacement became an embittered, small man, what a way to die. It says in verse one, and that down through verse six. In this passage that two significant things happened all of a sudden. First, there was a battle that was raging, and second, there was a king who died both of them are rather pathetic scenes, but there realistic look at the battle of the Philistines were fighting against Israel and the man of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa is a picture of the battle in the battle that is being lost and if you man, who fought in the Korean War need only remember the choice on reservoir any of you that fought in the days of the second world war can only remember that the misery of the tan as it fell and failed miserably. Here is a here is a scene of battle in which their bodies strewn like like litter along the highway freeway and the Philistines of calm to mop up and to finish off the job.

A sadistic bunch those Philistines base. They love nothing more than bloodshed, we read that they overtook Saul and his sons look at the massacre, the Philistines killed Jonathan.

That's David's closest friend that and not tissue the sons of Saul. All three maybe right in front of Saul, maybe right down the hillside were Saul in this vantage point where the king would be what's the slaughter of his sons.

We don't know, but they died in that battle did not Gilboa and then to fill Saul Stern. The battle went heavily against Saul and note this carefully in the archers hit him. I take it that the arrows stuck in his in his body. He couldn't get them out to begin to bleed profusely the archers hit him. He was badly wounded by the archers. The Latin Vulgate says he was wounded in the abdomen. It was a mortal wound. So the point is, he couldn't escape. He was dying.

The arrows were pierced into his body. It was an abdominal wound and he could not get away.

He was dying, pathetic scene, look at what he does. He said to his armor bearer draw your sword and pierced me through with it less. These uncircumcised common pierced me through it and make sport of me, but his armor bearer would not.

He was greatly afraid loyal to the end was any.

It wouldn't take his life. The life of his master Saul took his sword and he fell on John Tolan has written a biography on the life of Hitler calling it simply, Adolf Hitler and the last part of the second volume he reveals the, the infamous death of this mad dictator just reviewed it this evening before came to the service. Amazing. The similarity between the between these two debts. By the way this man did not want to the enemy to sport with his body. That was one of the driving desires and Adolf Hitler. He did not want to be found dead. He didn't want to be involved, and then spread it all over the allied countries to prove how how futile his dictatorship really was. So we left explicit plans and he along with his wife Eva sat alone in a room and she took poison a small School and and he put a distrusted revolver to hit Stemple any blew his brains out and he by direct design and by his plans called upon his aides ahead of time. When they found them after hearing the gunshot.

They would go in, they would take the bodies out put them in a little a slight recess there and they would drench them with gasoline and set them on finds exactly what happened and that Tolan reveals that when the when the remain sober charge too little pile of dust. They were picked up in bags and placed in a deep within a transient covered over so that no remains would ever be found of of his or her bodies. Saul said I don't want I don't want to be supported by the by the enemy. I don't want the adversary to have anything to say about Saul is interesting. He very concerned about his image with the enemy, but not concerned too much about his relationship with God. But where that happens when a carnal were very very concerned about what people say to us, even to the end but somehow there's a lost contact with what God thinks and what God might say, is not a word in here about prayer.

It says that he fell on his sword and he died in his his bodyguard, his armor bearer fell on his sword and all those men died that day. There are five suicide accounts in the Bible. My accounting is correct. These are the first to Saul and his armor bearer, and they died by the sword. The next is the account in second Samuel 1723 where I think it was a believer. It's hard to say for sure but probably a believer by the name of the hippo fell a counselor of Absalom took his life by hanging. It says he got his house in order and he hanged himself before the count in the Bible of the suicide is simmering CIM RI a king who burned himself to death in a house first Kings 1618 Zimmer. He takes his life in the last account of the suicide of course is Judas according to Matthew 27 five he hanged himself interesting when you study these five suicide, you discover that all fiber living pressures with which they could not cope.

They were backed into a corner. Most of them by their own doing and in that corner, they found no way out but that I think it needs to be addressed know I want to camp on it that the issue of suicide is no slight one, especially in our day, chances are there are people sitting in this very place, who have given serious thought to it.

Say will you say that these are mainly Christian people. I know that. Remember two of the five that we name the Christians are believers in the Bible. Saul was in no doubt hippo fell once it can happen to saints. Contrary to popular opinion, people who threaten suicide often mean it. The old myth. Those who talk. Don't jump is dangerously false threat should be taken seriously.

I want to say this evening that if you struggle with thoughts such as this. You need help I needed desperately and you need it soon. If you have children that speak of this rather regularly. They need help in the needed soon and needs to be professional help. If you have a roommate, a close friend who speaks of it, even to the point of talking of the details of it but to seek help for that person.

They are probably not joking. To underscore Chuck Swindoll's point if you or someone you love has fallen into deep depression. We urge you to seek professional help. No one should walk through the deep valley of despondency alone. This is inside for living. To learn more about this ministry.

Be sure to visit us online@insideworld.org.

Even though it come to a pause in today's message there still much more ahead what you heard today is the first portion of message number 11 in a comprehensive 24 part teaching series on David and if you're intrigued by this man's story and ready to learn more. We invite you to purchase Chuck's biography on David. It's called David a man of passion and destiny at inside for living. We take delight in helping listeners and readers learn how to apply the truth of God's word to every aspect of their lives in this biographical study. Chuck's practical insights help readers learn to think biblically, no matter what issues they face. No matter how bad they blown it. David's life as you recall, was rife with struggle and some major blunders along the way, you can discover what made him straighten his journey of faith and how we return to live a life in harmony with God. When you purchase a copy of David, a man of passion and destiny. It's available@inside.org/offer or by calling us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 Pierce, Chuck thanks Bill across Great Britain and beyond. He was affectionately known as the prince of preachers revered by a generation who look to him for spiritual direction. Charles Haddon Spurgeon made his mark when the accolades poured in, and people were making the big fuss over his life and his success. Spurgeon deflected the attention and pointed to the gospel.

He clarified it this way.

It's not me doing the work is not me who defends the gospel know he said the gospel is like a caged lion. Now I quote directly from one of his sermons. Spurgeon declared a great many learned men are defending the gospel yet. I always notice that the gospel itself is not been breached. The best apology for the gospel is to let the gospel out of the cage. I love that Spurgeon added let the lion out and see who dared to approach him preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. The land of the tribe of Judah will soon drive away all his adversaries, my friend. Since 1979 inside for living ministries has followed the same model we release the lien from its cage. Over these years and we had stepped out of the way year after year broadcast after broadcast so the spirit of God can do his work through the gospel but never alone. Our ministry is a together ministry God is used.

Men and women just like you to come alongside us with financial support. Without you we could have continued so as we conclude another year of partnership together. Please be generous as you give to inside for living ministries our deadline. Remember June 30 together.

Let's preach the gospel of Jesus Christ with abandon and then let's overstep all the way in allow the lion of the tribe of Judah to do his great work. Thanks, Chuck, and we invite you to give generously toward this worthy cause to respond. Give us a call if you're listening in the United states. Call 800-772-8888. That's 800-772-8880 or you can give online@insight.org/man of passion and destiny. That's Monday on insight for living in the preceding message to Dennis a study in contrast, was copyrighted in 1978, 1988, 1997 and 2009 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll. All rights are reserved worldwide.

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