APRIL 1 Chapter 31 records the death of Saul. While David is sending gifts to his friends, Saul and his family are being stripped on the battlefield. Saul had been carnally minded, which is death (see Romans 8:6). He had previously enjoyed great victories in battle, but God had now abandoned him. The only thing left for the rebellious king was death. It is sad that his innocent son, Jonathan, had to suffer because of the sins of his father. There are several practical lessons we can learn from the tragic life and death of King Saul. Great sins often begin as little matters, such as impatience, disobedience and excuse making. A man goes from bad to worse when sin gets hold of him. Also, when a person is not right with God, he will not be able to get along with God's people. Excuses are no substitute for confession, and there is no substitute for obedience. And finally, natural gifts and abilities mean nothing if you do not have the power of God in your life. In chapter 1 of II Samuel David sorrows over the death of Saul and Jonathan (see Proverbs 24:17). There are no unkind words about Saul in these verses. David's main concern is that the Lord's anointed is dead and the Lord's glory is dimmed. He is anxious that the unsaved enemy will not rejoice over this victory. In verses 19, 25, and 27 David's theme is, "How are the mighty fallen!" I Samuel 10:23 records that Saul "was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward." Now we see him fallen lower than even the enemy. I Corinthians 10:12 tells us, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."