– 1 Sam. 31:3-5 – The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically. Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him.
Saul was critically wounded, but the armor-bearer still refused to put Saul out of his misery. Whether it was true or not, Saul believed that the other people would abuse him. He chose to die instead.
Maybe you have heard of Brittany Maynard? She was critically wounded; she had terminal brain cancer and she chose to take a pill to kill herself. Oregon calls this the Death with Dignity Act, where doctors can legally assist patients in killing themselves.
Since legalized, 1,327 Oregon patients have received the prescription, and 859 chose to take it and die. New Mexico, Montana, Washington, and Vermont have also legalized similar acts, as well as some other countries such as Netherlands and Switzerland. Switzerland legalized the act in 1942! Today, it is a growing trend and starting to get an American following. This is something we need to be aware of.
– Eccl. 9:12 – As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
It’s important to seek God out for everything. For every new trend, we need to seek His kingdom and His wisdom first. So, what does He have to say about assisted suicide?
1. Let’s not get caught in the trap of this evil time. God is here to reveal the traps and bring us through unscathed.
2. If you assist in a suicide, you are accountable for murder
This year, in Washington, 176 individuals received prescriptions from 109 different physicians, and 57 different pharmacists. God says everyone involved is accountable for the deaths.
The armor-bearer did not give in to Saul’s tempting, however another person did:
– 2 Sam. 1:2-10,14-16 – On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor. “Where have you come from?” David asked him. He answered, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.” “What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.” “The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.” Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit. When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’ “He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ “ ‘An Amalekite,’ I answered.“Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’“So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive… David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’ ”
The armor-bearer refused to assist Saul, by killing him, even though Saul asked him to do so. There are two things that might have happened here. It says that when the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. But it also says that Saul told the Amalekite, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’ So, 1) did the armor-bearer assume that Saul was as good as dead, and kill himself, or 2) did the armor-bearer witness the Amalekite kill Saul before he killed himself?
The armor-bearers job was to protect the king:
– If he killed Saul, by Saul’s request, then he is accountable for Saul’s death.
– If he stood by and allowed the Amalekite to kill Saul, then the armor-bearer is just as accountable for Saul’s death as the Amalekite.
– If he didn’t fight to protect Saul, then he is accountable for Saul’s death by the Philistines.
The only correct response was to love Saul. There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). Love protects (1 Cor. 13:7). He failed to love and thus is accountable for his wrongdoing. Fear is a sin as much as murder. In this instance, his fear was murder for Saul and himself.
Having just escaped the genocide of his people, the Amalekite had a chance to save his own life by bringing a good report to David, but he:
– Reasoned that Saul could not survive his wounds
– Reasoned that Saul would not survive those pursuing him
– Reasoned that it was honorable to grant the request of a dying man/king
– Was held accountable for killing Saul and was judged and condemned by his own guilty plea
– 1 Samuel 26:9,11 – “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?… But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.
A doctor’s job is to heal and save the sick, not help them die because they are overwhelmed by a bad diagnosis. God made every person. God anointed every person with a purpose. Do not harm the Lords anointed. Do not be deceived that you are helping someone by killing them. Tell them of the hope they can have in Christ and that God still heals. ‘Certain death’ is not certain with God on your side, nor is ‘terminal’ final with God.
– Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
Prayer: God, raise up more spirit-filled doctors and nurses willing to speak during hard times to remind people of the hope found in You; to remind the ‘terminally ill’ that there is a chance, a hope, and that God still heals. To remind them of eternity, and bring peace of mind to hospital rooms. To remind every person that there is a chance to repent and turn to God; a chance for God’s grace to take over the situation and turn things around. Place godly advisors in these situations who don’t back down in fear and let the world call the shots, but who stand up and speak the truth in love and do what is necessary to protect the Lord’s anointed.
More to come on the topic of Accountability. If you enjoyed this post please follow +LoveDiscple
5 thoughts on “Assisted Suicide”
Thank you for presenting this well researched, logical and scriptural argument against assisted suicide. It is important to know God’s view so we are not swayed by the influence of the times. That said, unless one is facing the situation head on, it is easy to proclaim something is wrong. Watching a loved one die slowly is horrible. We must be careful any moral statement we present is done with compassion. I pray I don’t have to face this again.
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I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve been in so much pain that I would rather have died, much like Saul. Sickness is extremely debilitating, and in no way do I want to minimize that.
In the case of Saul, he was in his situation because he disobeyed God and fell away from Him. God wants to give us as many chances to repent as possible. Our lifes on earth are brief–but a moment in light of eternity. The Bible presents that it is better a moment of suffering to bring a person to repentance than to grant them that moment of comfort just to turn around and face an eternity of suffering without God. In this sense, it is the most compassionate thing to do to let a person realize their fate and come to their final conclusions about life. Giving them every opportunity to get right with God.
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Yes, well said. Repentance is always the goal. Me too re: pain. So awful! Just this week I was shown that suicide is actually the spirit of murder. Just murdering oneself. No different. It helped me settle the issue that as a believer, it’s unscriptural for me. Thanks again for tackling a tough issue.
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thanks for the tidbit; that is a good way to look at it 🙂 Hope you weren’t thinking about it for yourself though. Keep your hope strong 😉
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Good read. I actually wrote a book on suicide called, Suicide: The Bible and Today. I admittedly take a different view in that I believe the Amalekite actually lied and found Saul dead and thought to endear himself to David by claiming to have finished Saul off. I do look at Abimelech’s suicide as an assisted suicide.
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