In the final chapter of I Samuel, Saul is killed in battle by the Philistines, and 31:9 says: “They cut off his head and stripped off his weapons, and sent them throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people.” Saul’s continual refusal to honor and obey God had finally come to its inevitable conclusion: his death and humiliation. But it should be instructive to us that the Bible tells us that “the good news” of Saul’s demise went “to the house of their idols” of the Philistines. When we fail God, and stumble, as Saul did, it affects more than ourselves only. The news gets around, and the enemies of God rejoice and demean the Lord.
— this is just what the prophet Nathan told David after his adultery with Bathsheba: “You have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme.” (II Samuel 12:14)
— the Apostle Paul wrote the same thing: “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Romans 2:24)
— Charles Spurgeon warned the young ministers in his preachers college against giving Satan the opportunity to taunt God that he had been able to make His champions fall in spiritual battle.
This is yet another reason why we must not take our spiritual condition lightly. Our successes — and our failures — affect not only ourselves but others as well. What the enemies of God would call “the good news” of our trouble and demise is going to get around. May God give us grace to be watchful, and to stand, that His enemies may be given no occasion to rejoice at our failures.