Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 1.17-27
2 Samuel 1:17-27
Then David chanted with this lament over Saul and Jonathan his son, and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song of the bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jashar. “Your beauty, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How have the mighty fallen! “Tell it not in Gath, Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, The daughters of the uncircumcised will exult. “O mountains of Gilboa, Let not dew or rain be on you, nor fields of offerings; For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil. “From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, The bow of Jonathan did not turn back, And the sword of Saul did not return empty. “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life, And in their death they were not parted; They were swifter than eagles, They were stronger than lions. “O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, Who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet, Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. “How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan is slain on your high places. “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful Than the love of women. “How have the mighty fallen, And the weapons of war perished!”
We had grandparents who would seemingly go to funerals every weekend; we thought it was strange. But as I get older I am finding myself at funerals more often. Funerals are an opportunity to be confronted with a question: what is the legacy I am leaving?
When David learns of the death of Saul and Jonathan he commends Jonathan’s good qualities (which were many.) But surprisingly, David also shows respect for Saul as the LORD’s anointed, even though David in his humanity had every reason to celebrate Saul’s death.
When I was in basic training I was taught to salute all the officers and show the NCO’s respect. During and after college in the Army Reserve and in my career I had many leaders and came to realize that there were great leaders and some not so great leaders, but they all out-ranked me. I learned it is easy to follow a great leader you respect and hard to follow one you don’t. In those cases, you learn to salute the office, not the officer.
Saul did not deserve David’s loyalty, but even so David lauded Saul’s good qualities and left out the bad, out of respect to the LORD and respect for his friend Jonathan. In the same way, we do not deserve God’s reconciliation (John 3:16, Romans 5:7-8) but we can follow David’s example by seeking reconciliation with others who we feel don’t deserve our forgiveness. Let us finish the race (2 Timothy 4:7) well in response to the grace we have received so that our loved ones don’t have to tapdance during our eulogy.
Weekly Memory Verse: But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1.5