The Armor of Saul
“And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers. Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died. So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together. And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa. And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people. And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.” 1 Chronicles 10:3-10
I have heard many sermons regarding David, as a shepherd boy, coming to the battle to check on his brothers only to end up defeating the giant Goliath. When Saul gave David his armor, David tried it on, but it didn’t fit. He shucked it and ended up fighting with the only armor that mattered, the armor of God. It’s a great message that speaks of trusting in God over trusting in the world. We know that trusting in God brings us to the best possible outcome, but what happens when we trust in the world?
Well, that armor which Saul placed on David before facing Goliath is the same armor Saul himself wore for battle. And after years of fighting, that armor finally failed Saul. It had protected him from many attempts by his enemies to kill him, but it could not protect him from himself. Saul’s fears after being wounded by the enemy took hold of him. Seeing that he might suffer further at the hands of the enemy, he took his own life. Going even further, the armorbearer himself, he who took care of the armor, took his own life, also.
When we rely upon the ways of the world, conforming to what the world believes is fair or right in our lives when interacting with them, we will suffer. That is the armor of Saul, trusting in worldly ways of living and worldly points of view. The world cannot protect us from itself when we are relying on the world to do so. The ultimate result will be defeat, even death, as we, little by little, surrender our lives to the ways which oppose our God. Not only this, but the world will never come to the full understanding which we are supposed to demonstrate of Christ, and they, too, will die.
God says that we must stand in Christ, wherein lies our victory. We are to trust God fully. As we have accepted Christ in our lives to save us, we should continue to trust Him to keep us, grow us, and protect us from the harms of this world.
We see that after Saul died, and after his armorbearer died, and his sons, and his whole household that the armor was taken by the enemy. The Philistines placed it in the house of their gods. They regarded that armor as a trophy, and gave it to the gods they believed blessed them.
That is what Satan does with us. As we rely upon the world, and not God, Satan will rob us of our rewards and blessings. That is what we forgo whenever we don’t follow Jesus. He holds to our rewards like trophies for himself. But there is one thing with which I’ll leave you, in light of all I’ve written herein.
Sometimes, God allows things to happen to us because He is sovereign. He knows what is ultimately best. We may choose the way of the world for a time, but it is He Who allows the circumstances to continue in order that we might place our faith back upon Him. Those things we lose? They probably were not ours anyway. They probably were not for our best. God knows.
So, though I’d like to say that God will restore the things which were lost to the enemy, I cannot say that is always so. The blessings we gave up, yes. Our position in the kingdom, yes. He wants for us a more abundant life. But, we should take a serious inventory as to whether or not certain things ever were blessings. What we perceive and what He knows are often vastly different things. Meditate on that, and chew on it for a while, brothers and sisters, because that is meat right there! He is faithful to restore, but His faithfulness is to restore what’s best.
The bottom line is that we should follow God, and wear the armor that is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If we follow the world, and wear Saul’s armor, we will do so to our own detriment… every time.