Eyes of Faith


There are many things in the bible that we cannot spiritually see or comprehend.  This will probably always be the case.  Below is an interpretation that simply strengthened my own belief that the bible is the inspired word of God and that its absolute authority cannot be disputed by man’s understanding.


1 Samuel 31:1-6


Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.  And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons.  And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.  Then said Saul unto his armour-bearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me.  But his armour-bearer would not; for he was sore afraid.  Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.  And when his armour-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.  So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armour-bearer, and all his men, that same day together.  


The above text clearly states that Saul requested for his armour-bearer to kill him but that his armour-bearer would not.  As a result, Saul took a sword and fell upon it and died.


Let’s take a look at this next text.


2 Samuel 1:16


Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.  And David said unto him, From whence comest thou?  And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.  And David said unto him,  How went the matter?  I pray thee, tell me.  And he answered,  That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.  And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?  And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.  And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me,  And I answered, Here am I.  And he said unto me, Who art thou?  And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.  He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me:  for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.  So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my Lord.  Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:  And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.  And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence are thou?  And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, and Amalekite.  And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?  And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him.  And he smote him that he died.  And David said unto him, thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed.     


Wow.  Looks like we have a major problem?  This text says that this young Amalekite slew Saul, but in the first text it says that Saul fell upon his own sword.  Both could not have happened so what is the answer?  Well, the answer is in the text. 


The first text tells that Saul was wounded in battle and as a result, he asked his armour-bearer to kill him.  His armour-bearer refused so Saul consequently took his own life.  This is what the first text says. 


The second text tells that a man came to David and told him a story about coming upon Saul wounded on the battlefield, and how that after Saul requested for the man to kill him, that the man, knowing that Saul could not recover from his wounds, consented and slew Saul.  This is what the second text says. 


The answer is clear.  The man in the second text is lying.  The scripture is true and does not contradict itself.  A young Amalekite did come to David and did tell him a story about how he found Saul wounded and then decided to put him out of his misery, and this is all the text is saying, that a man came to David with this story.  It never said whether or not the story was true.  But we know from the first text that the text itself states that Saul killed himself, and not a man’s conceived story, but this is how it happened.  So, by default, this must mean that the man who came to David was simply lying because he was hoping for some reward (2 Samuel 4:10).   The text itself never specifically tells us that he is lying.  If you re-read and re-read the text carefully then this fact cannot be debated.  The Holy Spirit in both texts simply states what happened (interprets the facts), after close review it is up to the reader to understand that the second man must be lying.  One more question…  Why would God presumably allow the scriptures to cause confusion?  Why would God presumably hide information within the text?


Proverbs 25:2, 3:32


It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.


For the forward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.


By understanding how God has written the Bible, we will inadvertently understand more regarding the personality and intentions of God.  One thing I learned a long time ago is when you read a book you not only know what the book says, but perhaps more importantly, you also know what the book doesn’t say.  I have found this very true with the Bible itself.  I cannot always remember what the Bible says, but I can almost always remember what it doesn’t say.  We need to read differently.  It is only through the “eyes of faith” that we will learn how to search out what God has concealed.