God humiliated and defeated!


What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?

“The Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died.” (1 Samuel 31:7)
Think about this: God’s holy people, and God’s anointed ruler… defeated!
We are seeing how God graciously works with weak and sinful humans.
Here we see that God even endures defeat, even being shamed before the other gods.
News would spread, the God of Israel was humiliated and defeated (vv.9-10).
God has graciously joined sinful humans throughout history.
Those humans have been weak and sinful, giving God a bad reputation.
All the killing and injustice – in Israel and the church – look bad on God.
Yet God is willingly and graciously humbled, in order to bring salvation.
God works through the twists and turns of sinful human history to bring salvation.
Jesus comes, and he graciously and willingly joins himself to sinners too.
He stands up for all the world to see, and then is humiliated and defeated.
The cross represents the ultimate humiliation and defeat of God.
And yet it also represents the triumph of grace, mercy and love over sin.
God rises up over our humiliation and defeat, and restores us in gracious love.
Lord, thank you for willingly being humbled and defeated so that we could be rescued. Thank you for taking our shame, so that we could receive your glory.


  1. God uses people His wonders to perform. The enemy is strong and at times may seem victorious but He raises those who perform His acts of mercy. He is never defeated. Trust in Him with your heart for He is my Conqueror, Deliverer, Rescuer.

    God moves in a mysterious way
    His wonders to perform;
    He plants His footsteps in the sea
    And rides upon the storm.
    Deep in unfathomable mines
    Of never failing skill
    He treasures up His bright designs
    And works His sov’reign will.
    Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
    The clouds ye so much dread
    Are big with mercy and shall break
    In blessings on your head.
    Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust Him for His grace;
    Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.
    His purposes will ripen fast,
    Unfolding every hour;
    The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flow’r.
    Blind unbelief is sure to err
    And scan His work in vain;
    God is His own interpreter,
    And He will make it plain.

  2. And so ends Saul’s legacy – up in smoke literally – but his head in a pagan temple! Those valiant men sought to prevent further disgrace to the bodies – cursed by hanging on a wall – burned the bodies and buried the bones. Saul knew it was coming and took his own life when the end was near – his sons fought right until they were killed – yet Saul did not want to be disgraced – but his body and head were humiliated anyway. He was abandoned by God when he went his own way- and so his enemies had their day – attributing to their gods the victory. Rather it was God’s absence that permitted Saul to be defeated. that happened to Jesus on the cross – so that he would taste death and win life for me. I too need God near me- without Him I am doomed to fail! Holy Spirit work with in me – so that I may bring honour to you – even when I die! May I die in you!

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