So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my Lord. – 2Sam. 1:10 KJV
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The scripture today is the account of an Amalekite who was desperate to be seen as a hero by David, who himself at that time was in a survival battle with King Saul. Although King Saul had been seriously injured after deliberately falling on his own sword because his armour bearer had refused to carry out that task for him (1Sam. 31: 1-end), the scripture reveals that his armour bearer decided to commit suicide when he saw that the King was dead but the young man reported that he, it was that snuffed life out of Saul, based on his request for help to terminate his life because he was seriously injured, by using Saul’s sword even when the King admitted that he was still full of life – 2Sam. 1:9. There is no doubt that he was expecting to be rewarded as he also delivered to David, King Saul’s crown and bracelet.
The fact that the man had those items with him was sufficient proof that he was well positioned at the war front, but one wonders why all he could offer King Saul when he asked for help at that point was to kill him.
One can only imagine his shock when he heard David instruct one of his men to carry out an act similar to what he claimed he did to Saul. It is true that King Saul had spent substantial amount of resources fighting David with the intention to kill him but that was not enough reason for anyone to expect him (David) to rejoice at the death of King Saul, some members of his family and defeat of the army of Israel. He also on previous occasions, had the opportunity to snuff life out of King Saul and take those same items but he refused to do that. It must be that the young man was not aware of this part of the story else he would not have thought he could impress David with such a story – 1Sam. 24:1-21; 1Sam. 26:1-25.
Beyond the fact that David considered Saul as an anointed of God and so should not have been so treated (2Sam. 1:14), being a spiritually driven person, he must have taken his time to ponder over the story of the young man (2Sam. 1: 4-10) and arrived at the following:
1. He was well positioned to show concern for the people that David loved by joining them in their effort to achieve victory, but he instead watched from afar and did not lend any support.
2. He did not manifest any soberness about his having to kill not just a king but an anointed of God.
3. He sounded delighted that the army of Israel was defeated. This was never the wish of David at any time irrespective of the treatment he was getting from their king and this showed in the way he took the information when it got to Him – 2Sam. 1: 11-12.
4. Saul still had full life in him when the young man claimed he showed up. Yes he threw himself on in his sword but the young man met him at a point where he could still have provided some help to save his life but he instead decided according to him to snuff life out of him by slaying him, of course with very selfish intentions behind his action.
5. The young man may be displaying supposed loyalty to David but he definitely has betrayal in his blood and it was always going to be a question of time before he ended up betraying David too.
As far as David was concerned, such a man had no right to live and what better reason to give than the fact that he killed the anointed one of God.
Most Christians in their quest for honour, recognition, power, etc., become desperate and go to ridiculous extents in order to achieve their ignoble goals. The desperation is such that it sometimes does not rule out their doing anything including committing murder. They believe in the unbeliever’s statement that “the end justifies the means”. This may be the ways of men but with God, “the means justifies the end”. A falsely or wrongly acquired success with men may attract honour but sooner than later when God comes in, it will end in dishonour, shame and death. The death may not be physical, as in the case of the young man and David, like it is in most times but can be the type that makes such a person a “living dead”.
If you reading this have had to do anything similar to this, you have no choice than to repent and do a restitution before the result of such acts begin to manifest if they are not already manifesting. The young man must have thought that he was moving close to achieving his goals during those times when David was still in shock in reacting to the news. Although this time frame may have been minutes, hours or days, David eventually returned to mete out to him the appropriate punishment. Do not let the punishment come before you repent and do the necessary restitution as it may be too late then.
No matter how sweet a wrongly attained success lasts, it will eventually become bitter. Save yourself that stress at work, or in your neighbourhood or among family and friends by doing the needful today as tomorrow may be too late.
May God grant us all the temperament to wait for our time and remove from our lives all forms of desperation that will lead us to sin and death in Jesus name. Amen.