Scripture: (1 Sam 31:4 NKJV)  Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.

Observation: After the defeat before the Philistines and the death of his son Jonathan, Saul his situation as the fulfilment of the supposed seance with the late prophet Samuel.  In the darkness of his soul, Saul could see no way out of his situation and asked his armor bearer to kill him.  But when his armor bearer would not do it, Saul fell on his sword and took his own life.

Application: The first time I heard the lyrics of the movie and TV show M.A.S.H. I was shocked.  The music is one of the best recognized and reminds us of a comedy based loosely on the real-life army hospital during the Korean War.  But the lyrics, which were written for the movie, are shocking, and a horrible lie many have come to believe:

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see…

that suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it’s too late, and…

The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I’ll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.

The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I’m beat
and to another give my seat
for that’s the only painless feat.

The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn’t hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger…watch it grin, but…

A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied ‘oh why ask me?’

‘Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
…and you can do the same thing if you please.

     My brother-in-law was a deputy sheriff in his early thirties when he took his own life with his service gun.  Years later, his family still suffers the consequences of his actions and every year at the anniversary of his death everyone in the family remembers with deep sorrow his actions and the void he left.  While the person taking his/her life may think suicide is quick and painless, the consequences to anyone who knows them are most painful and last a lifetime.
     If you have thoughts of suicide, these options are available to you:

    * Dial: 911
    * Dial: 1-800-273-TALK
    * Check yourself into the emergency room.
    * Tell someone who can help you find help immediately.
    * Stay away from things that might hurt you.
    * Most people can be treated with a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy.

If You Don’t Have Insurance

The following options might be used:

    * Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
    * Look in your local Yellow Pages under Mental Health and/or Suicide Prevention; then call the mental health organizations/crisis phone lines that are listed. There may be clinics or counseling centers in your area operating on a sliding or no-fee scale.
    * Some pharmaceutical companies have “Free Medication Programs” for those who qualify. Visit the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill website at http://www.nami.org for more information.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, life is precious and the actions we take not only affect us but affect everyone around us.  Loving God, help us to never consider ending our life but rather to seek the help that is available to us through many sources and from You.  Help us to always treasure life, as Your gift to us, and as Your gift through us to others.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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