Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 341

Saul Takes His Own Life

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 28; 31.

“The Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem,” while Saul and his forces camped a few miles away at the foot of Mount Gilboa. Saul felt alone and defenseless, because God had forsaken him. As he looked around at the Philistine army, “he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.”

Saul had expected that David would take this opportunity to get revenge for the wrongs he had suffered, and the king was in great distress. It was his own unreasonable anger spurring him on to destroy God’s chosen man that had put the nation in great danger. While pursuing David, he had neglected the defense of his kingdom. The Philistines, taking advantage of its unguarded condition, had gone into the very heart of the country. While Satan had been urging Saul to destroy David, the same hateful spirit inspired the Philistines to try to ruin Saul. How often Satan moves upon some unconsecrated person to start a quarrel in the church, and then, taking advantage of the divided condition of God’s people, he stirs up his agents to bring about their ruin.

The next day Saul must fight the Philistines. Dark shadows of impending doom gathered about him. He longed for guidance, but even though he looked for counsel from God, “the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim, or by the prophets.”

The Lord never turned away anyone who came to Him in sincerity. Why did He turn Saul away unanswered? The king had rejected the counsel of Samuel the prophet; he had exiled David, the chosen of God; he had killed the priests of the Lord. Could God answer him when he had cut off the channels of communication that Heaven had established? Saul did not want pardon for sin and reconciliation with God—he only wanted deliverance from his enemies. By rebellion he had cut himself off from God, and he could return only by confessing and forsaking his wrongs.

“Then Saul said to his servants, ‘Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.’” The Lord had forbidden attempts to talk with the dead, and the sentence of death

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