1 Samuel 31
When the Philistines went to war with Israel this time, they were very successful. They killed 3 of Saul’s sons, including Jonathan. The Philistine archers also injured King Saul but he got away from them. Knowing he was going to die and not wanting to be captured alive, Saul asked his armor bearer to finish him off. Fearfully the armor bearer refused. So Saul took his sword and ended his own life. The armor bearer then died also. Most of the army was destroyed as well.
After realizing their defeat, the people of Israel fled and the Philistines took over their cities. The next day, as the Philistines collected loot among the dead they found the bodies of Saul and his sons. To show their people their great victory the Philistine army put Saul’s body on public display in a dishonoring way.
Do you remember Jabesh Gilead from chapter 11? Saul rescued these men from disgrace. When they heard what the Philistines had done with Saul’s body, they bravely went and got it back. They then gave Saul a proper burial. But why did they take the risk? Saul was already dead, the Philistines weren’t hurting him. The men of Jabesh Gilead remembered the great things that Saul had done for them and could not stand-by and allow someone to dishonor Saul or his memory. Showing respect (or honor) for others is godly and something we should always do!
Ask your child what they would do if they heard someone say bad things about a leader or person they know deserves honor. Discuss appropriate responses and how allowing (or not) honorable people to be dishonored in our presence reflects on our character.