Death of Samuel; Nabal, a wicked landowner, dies; David marries his widow Abigail; Saul's pursuit of David
Samuel was one of the greatest spiritual giants in Israel's history and is listed as one of the heroes of the faith (Hebrews 11:32), but just one sentence records the death of this grand, old prophet at this treacherous time in Israel's history. And Samuel died; and all the Israelites . . . lamented him, and buried him at his house in Ramah. Because of Saul, David could not attend the funeral; instead he went down to the wilderness of Paran (I Samuel 25:1). The Israelites were now without spiritual leadership. But the all-wise God, who controls the universe, knew what was best.
We are tempted at times to think that death has come to the wrong person or has come at the wrong time, especially when a child is left without a mother, or when children die at a young age. Familiar as we are with death, the ways of God regarding it often seem strange to us. But, without a doubt, God never abandons His children. He leads us to look beyond our grief and to trust in His wisdom and in His tender love to comfort our broken spirit. Jesus said: Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me (John 14:1).
Death for the Christian is a promotion from this world's suffering to a welcome home by our wonderful Lord. Soon, God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4).
At times we all need comfort. This is especially true during experiences of distress and grief when a loved one dies. Those of us who have lost loved ones know what a word of compassion can mean. As we see others suffering, let us also remember that our Heavenly Father has commanded: Comfort . . . My people (Isaiah 40:1).
Last, but not least, the death of loved ones makes heaven all the more desirable for we who remain. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15). The words of our Savior are most comforting: Let not your heart be troubled. . . . I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1,3).
Reprinted from Bible Pathway International, devotional guide, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.