FRIDAY November 1, 2019
Honor in Death
Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men arose and traveled all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
1 Samuel 31:11-13
Remember, Saul had helped save the people of Jabesh Gilead against Nahash the Ammonite. Instead of war, the people of Jabesh wanted to make a covenant with Nahash, but he gave them one, cruel condition,“that I may put out all your right eyes…” (1 Samuel 11:2). Saul heard the people weeping and found out the reason for their troubles. Angered, he called all of Israel to battle. The Spirit of God came upon Saul, and he delivered the people of Jabesh (1 Samuel 11:6-8, 11).
On hearing of Saul’s death, the valiant men of Jabesh Gilead went on a reconnaissance and took the bodies that hung on the wall of Beth Shan and gave Saul and his three sons a proper burial. Saul and his sons were to be honored in death. Saul was a king––his three sons, princes. They cremated them and buried their bones. Then they fasted, which was a way of denying themselves.
However, the Jewish burial was very different, they would bury a body within 24 hours. They let the body decompose naturally. The body of the deceased was anointed with oils and wrapped in linen, before burial (Deuteronomy 21:23; John 19:39-40). In this way the deceased person was honored.
Understand, we are all going to die one day, and the way we are buried can be a controversial subject. I believe, we can be buried or cremated because, ultimately, our bodies go back into the dirt. The Apostle Paul, gave a true picture of what happens when a believer takes their last breath: …to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We are honored to be with Jesus.
The best moment of a Christian’s life is his last one, because it is the one that is nearest heaven.
~C. H. Spurgeon~
For more from Raul Ries, please visit Somebodylovesyouradio.org!