armor in the temple

Today's devotion from 1 Samuel 30 & 31.

Saul was dead.  I read of the Philistines who came against him.  I read of his trip to Endor to consult the medium there.  I read of his plea for his armor-bearer to finish him off before the Philistines tortured him.  As I read of Saul’s downfall and death, I mourned for him.  He could have accomplished so much for God.  Instead, the kingdom was in shambles and his loyal men paid the price.

There was a verse that struck me as I read. 1 Samuel 31:9-10 states something curious. As I thought about the actions outlined in these verses, I asked myself a series of questions. 1.  All scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, right?  2. Then why did God impress the authors of Samuel and Chronicles to include this detail about the armor of Saul?

As I thought, the answer became obvious.  The armor of Saul represents him.  His authority, his leadership, his reign were symbolized by his armor.  With his armor empty, so too was his authority.  The lifeless nature of his armor now perfectly symbolized to the Philistines that there was no longer life to his reign over Israel.

Isn’t it interesting that this is not the first time we read of Saul’s armor?  In 1 Samuel 17, Saul’s armor is offered to David as he prepares to face Goliath.  The symbol of the king’s authority and reign could have been worn into the battle that God used to elevate David.

However, David didn’t trust in the king’s authority.  He trusted in the King of King’s authority.  He didn’t trust in the symbol of the Saul’s reign, but in the presence of the Spirit’s reign.  No, Saul’s armor would not be used to gain God’s glory through David.  Neither does Saul’s armor accurately symbolize the king of Israel…who has in actuality been David in God’s eyes for some time.

It is tempting to trust in earthly symbols, our own status or ability, or our own strength.  But when those things fail, as Saul’s armor had failed to prevent his death, then they become symbols of our inability.  However, when we trust in God, we need never worry about our ability or strength, only His.

I needed to be reminded not to rely on myself.  Maybe you need to remember this too?  Let us join together in trusting God to simply use us to be a symbol, a monument, of His grace, His mercy, and His love.