The last day is far more important than the first day. The last day on the job,
the last day of your career, ministry, marriage or life is huge. Why? Because the last day is all about finishing and we will be remembered by how we finished,
not how we began.
We’ve been studying the life of King David, but I’ve been thinking about King Saul, Israel’s first king, who didn’t finish well. He started out really strong. He
was humble, to be sure. He wasn’t anxious to be anointed Israel’s first king. He was courageous and led Israel to victory, but that was the beginning. What followed next was a series of missteps that ruined his life, his family and more.
Let’s not miss the things that led to his fall from grace as we seek to finish well.
- He gave into fear. The fear of a gathering enemy, the fear of men ready to abandon the fight, the fear of death. These real fears led him to move his trust from God to himself. From waiting for the prophet Samuel, to taking matters into his own hands by offering sacrifices (the duty of a priest), a shortcut to seeking God’s favor and finding success. (1 Samuel 13)
- He made a foolish vow that put his army in danger, caused his men to sin and almost cost his son Jonathan’s life. In the end, he lost the support of his troops. (1 Samuel 14)
- He was afraid of his men (15:24) and gave into their wishes to keep the
best animals for sacrifices when God called for their destruction. He rationalized his disobedience, believing that their worship of God would more than cover for their “partial obedience.” He “rejected the word of
the Lord” (15:23,26) and became Israel’s rejected King.
Note his good beginning, note his insecurity, but most of all, note his careless attention to God’s Word. Finally, note how he ended - a jealous man bursting
with bitterness and anger, seeking to kill the man after God’s own heart and in the end, “falling on his own sword” (31:4).
Only by the grace of God in Christ will we finish well. Today is a day to get
back on our feet to take God at His word and remember that, “to obey is
better than sacrifice.”
Let’s continue to center our lives on God’s Truth!
Looking forward to gathering with you this weekend. I’m teaching on 2 Samuel 11-12 (David and Bathsheba) and appreciate your prayers!