Bible Backstories: His Last Regret

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Injured and broken, he looked around at his fallen men as their bodies lay strewn across the plain.

“Wretched Philistines!” King Saul spewed other obscenities.

YHWH! I thought You were good! I thought I was Your chosen one. Why did You let my sons die in battle?! My dear, dear Jonathan—he served You and loved that deplorable David relentlessly, he thought to himself.

He began spitting blood as he felt the darkness caving in. Unnerved, yet too angry to care, King Saul kept rehearsing his last moments with the Prophet Samuel.


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He panted heavily, feeling his senses abate while bleeding from his arrow wounds. And he remembered. At the start of it all, YHWH didn’t even want His chosen people to have a king because He longed to commune with and lead them Himself. He warned them about how life would change, but they didn’t care. Because YHWH wasn’t enough for them, He appointed Saul to rule them instead.

A grave, insidious voice whispered in his mind, You see, He never wanted you anyway. You, Saul, were never fit to be king, so what harm could you cause if you cursed Him now?

Panic flooded his heart, but dejectedly he agreed with the lies he heard. King Saul forgot the times he did obey God, receiving favor from Him in return.

King Saul recalled every failure, including his incomplete and half-hearted obedience regarding the destruction of the Amalekites—but he couldn’t remember how YHWH kept trying to win him over through Samuel the prophet. He broke many laws and engaged in ungodly practices, but it didn’t matter to him in the end.


All that mattered was how the people would remember him in death. King Saul’s regret wasn’t that he displeased YHWH and misguided the people of Israel; it was receiving a mortal wound at his enemy’s hands. King Saul regretted that his sons died, leaving his sworn enemy David as his successor.

A last wave of fear fell upon him as he cried out to his armor-bearer.

“Kill me with your sword so these animals can’t glory in my death,” King Saul said, gulping for air. But the young man could not because he feared God more and respected the king’s office.

With all the strength he could muster, King Saul fell upon his sword and died without the repentance his soul needed.

I can’t say for sure that King Saul never repented. The Holy Bible doesn’t mention it, but that does not mean he didn’t repent with his final breath. However, today’s post was from the standpoint of a man fueled by regret and remorse but never repentance.

Beloved, let’s choose the opposite. When we err and fail Him, let’s repent. Jesus Christ has made us worthy of it because He thought we were worth His death and resurrection. Your life has never been perfect, and neither has mine. Guess what? On this side of heaven, it never will be. Yet, that’s not what God is asking of us. He longs to lead and fill us with His Spirit so we can guide our hearts and emotions toward His truth—in humility and repentance.


Keep reading Bible Backstories for more encouragement and lessons to learn for everyday living.

Featured photo by Anis Rahman on Unsplash

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