“You Shall Surely Die”
“You Shall Surely Die”
Let us complete the “Saul’s Foolish Oath” story.
You will remember that Saul had declared that no one would eat until he was avenged.
This cost him total victory over the Philistines due to the people’s lack of strength.
It was about to cost him more…
Then Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” So the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.”
Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines?
Will You give them into the hand of Israel?” But He did not answer him on that day.
Saul said, “Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people,
and investigate and see how this sin has happened today.
“For as the LORD lives, who delivers Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But not one of all the people answered him.
Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.”
Therefore, Saul said to the LORD, the God of Israel, “Give a perfect lot.”
And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped.
Saul said, “Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.
Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him and said, “I indeed tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!”
Saul said, “May God do this to me and more also, for you shall surely die, Jonathan.”
But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people rescued Jonathan and he did not die.
Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.
Saul wanted to continue the battle…by night…to take spoil and kill the Philistines.
The people’s response?
“Do whatever seems good to you”
They said this often.
So, the priest wanted to draw near to God…check with God about the plan.
Saul asked the Lord, “shall I go…?”
The Lord did not answer.
Saul took the Lord’s silence to mean that there was sin in the camp
Saul actually declared that even if it was he or Jonathan who had sinned, they would die.
The people knew who it was.
Jonathan had broken the oath of Saul to not eat.
Jonathan was innocent.
He did not know of the oath.
Lots were cast to determine the guilty.
Saul asked the Lord to give a “perfect lot”.
The Lord did.
Saul and Jonathan were taken by lot and the people escaped.
Then Jonathan was revealed by lot.
Jonathan told what happened.
He prepared to die.
Saul was prepared to kill him.
Yet, the people rose up.
Enough of this foolishness…”as the Lord lives”.
- Jonathan must not die
- He brought great deliverance to Israel that day
- Not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground
- He had worked for God that day
Saul ceased the pursuit.
The Philistines went home.
Total victory was lost.
Leaders can do foolish things.
People, especially the masses, can do foolish things.
If we act without seeking the Lord, we will do foolish things.