April 21, 2017. II Samuel 1-4.
We begin chapter one with the report from the Amalekite man, of Saul and his son Jonathan’s death. The Amalekite people were the first enemy the Israelites encountered. If you remember king Saul was given instructions by God to completely destroy the Amalek people. His failure to follow through lead to this tragic end.
Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son… (II Samuel 1:11-12a)
This somber news moved David to a very deep sorrow within his soul, which he expressed and demonstrated in a way that could not be overseen by others. All the men that were with David followed the example of their leader, for they too had reason to dislike Saul. David in this moment shows a loving and forgiving heart towards Saul who had become his great enemy. King Saul who was once a humble leader, had over time become hard and bitter towards God and others. Saul was known to be jealous, hateful, and ungodly in his actions toward David by taking away his family, career, home, and the best years of his life. The reaction of David is powerful as it demonstrates to us that our bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness are chosen, not imposed on us.
What has been your reaction when you are wronged or thrown into a “warlike” situation? How did you choose to respond?
Saul was the anointed first king of Israel. And Jonathan had the quality of friendship with David that was described as a love that was selfless with a deep brotherhood bond. In David’s grief and as musician he writes a national poem to show praise and history to both fallen heroes of Israel.
Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son, (II Samuel 1:17)
His loving and poetic words show he saw beauty in Saul as a mighty warrior, and complimented his loyalty and personality. It’s an encouraging picture of a heart free from bitterness even after being wronged! David lived out the principle of
(1 Peter 4:8) Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
It happened after this that David inquired of the LORD, saying “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?” (II Samuel 2:1)
It can be our tendency to look at the wrongs done to us and linger there….but what would happen if in our suffering we ask the Lord what He would have us to do next? Can a heart that has been hurt or betrayed be able to trust in such a way? Are you open to thoughts and possible actions that won’t make sense?
Won’t you commit as David to “inquire of the Lord”?
Oh that you would be free to sing over the hurts of yesterday to reshape your tomorrows….