David had not yet been crowned king when he heard the news that both King Saul and his dearly beloved friend Jonathan had been killed in battle.
How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!
2 Samuel 1:27
David had not yet been crowned king when he heard the news that both King Saul and his dearly beloved friend Jonathan had been killed in battle. This news caught David totally by surprise and literally broke his heart. David had great respect and devotion for King Saul and was hoping that one day they would move past their difference and come together and serve the Lord in the spirit of unity. And his heart longed for the rich, godly fellowship he had experienced with Jonathan as iron sharpening iron. It’s no doubt that David loved Jonathan like a brother, and hearing of his death brought a very real and deeply felt grief to David’s heart. His friend was truly gone too soon.
My hope and prayers are that you are not experiencing the deep sorrow and pain that comes from the loss of a love one, but if you are hurting due to the loss of someone you love, please know that you are not alone in your sorrow. Isaiah 53:3 tells us that Jesus, our Savior and Lord “….was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” If we take a close look at 2 Samuel 1:22-26, we will see how David handled his grief, and in turn, learn a few things about how we should handle ours. The text says:
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. 23 “Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives, And in their death they were not divided; They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions. 24 “O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with luxury; who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. 25 “How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan was slain in your high places. II Samuel 1: 22-26
David did four things to help put his broken heart back together again:
- He cried. In 2 Samuel 1:11 we are simply told that David mourned and wept. David’s eyes became a faucet for him to release soul-cleansing tears. Tears ran down his checks, dropped off his chin and fell to the earth. The same earth that Saul and Jonathan have now returned.
- He honored them. In verse 17, we find that David poured out his heart before the people with a song of lament that spoke about their beauty and their courage. Find ways that uniquely celebrate the memory of your love one and write it down as a memorial to them.
- He trusted in the Will of God. Three times in this passage (verses 19,25, and 27) David calls Saul and Jonathan ‘mighty’. David recognized that, though both men were uniquely flawed, they were loved and anointed by God. David turned his thoughts to the truth that God saw something wonderful in both these men and offered to them the leadership over His people.
- He took comfort that they were finally at rest. In verse 27, we can almost feel a sigh of relief that Saul and Jonathan’s days of battle are now over. David rested in the knowledge that God had called them off the battlefield, never to study war again.
Our loved ones may have gone on before us, but let us remember that we, too, are soldiers in the army of the Lord. Let us keep marching on toward victory until the day we hear our Commander in Chief say, “Come up here, servant of God, well done!”
Published on Jan 31 @ 3:17 AM EDT
Author: Jessica LaGrone
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field”
LaGrone, Jessica. Out of Chaos (p. 151). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. Instead of telling us the story of how this man searched, sacrificed, and failed, Jesus simply starts his story at the moment the man finds the treasure. We don’t even really know if he’s been looking for it or if he just stumbles on it. Maybe he’s just passing through the field and gets lucky. Maybe he’s a day laborer who uncovers the treasure in a field where he’s been hired to work. In any case, he doesn’t run out and announce his discovery to the world. He shrewdly hides the treasure, makes a plan to possess it as soon as possible, and sets off to put his plan into action. First, he liquidates his assets. He sells everything he has—his home, his investments, any animals or means of transportation he had, the clothes in his closet and the shirt off his back. He sells it. All of it. There is no halfway with this kind of treasure. You either give it all or nothing. Things that are worth a lot cost a lot. Things that are going to be worth everything cost everything, and this treasure cost the man everything he owned.
One cost the story doesn’t mention is the cost of his reputation. What did people think when he began selling all his possessions? What did his neighbors whisper about him? How many well-meaning family members tried to intervene, thinking he had lost his mind? Did he have a wife? Did she care when he sold the couch, the table, their home out from under her?
Choosing to pursue his dream of treasure must have thrown this man’s life into utter chaos: The chaos of disruption from selling off his creature comforts. The chaos of alienation from those who just didn’t understand. By choosing the treasure, this man is choosing chaos. But the treasure itself is worth the chaos it will take to get to it.
As he looks around at everything he’s ever valued, he counts it all as rubbish, worthless, except for the one goal of acquiring the thing of great worth in front of him. And he holds a rubbish sale. And he counts out the profit in his hand, one penny at a time, holding his breath to be sure it’s enough. He then buys the land, and he starts digging. The story ends before the moment we’re really waiting for. We don’t get to hear about the joy of buying the field or digging up the treasure or bringing it home. We don’t get to hear about family and friends finding out the man wasn’t completely bonkers when he sold all he had. The only joy we get to hear described is the joy of pursuit. Even in the chaos of turning his life upside down, we’re told, “In his joy [he] went and sold all he had.” This man liquidates all his assets—for the joy of possessing this one thing. He chooses the chaos of pursuit over the stability of sameness.
Again, there is no going halfway for this kind of treasure. If you want it, you have to give it your all. Throw everything you once valued into the pot. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Things that are worth a lot cost a lot. Things that are worth everything cost everything.
Paul famously said of the life he built before he met Jesus that he counted everything “rubbish” for the sake of following Christ (Philippians 3:8 ESV). The word translated “rubbish” is really the word dung. Paul is saying that, compared to the treasure of Christ, everything the world ever offered him is a pure waste. For those who have discovered the treasure of Jesus, this means if we have to choose between anything else and Christ, we will choose Christ.
Lord, I seek your Treasure in every daily pursuit of my life. Thank you that when I am weak, you are strong. Lord, Satan is scheming, and I know he desires to keep me from spending time with you. Don’t let him win! Give me a measure of your strength so that I might not give into discouragement, deception, and doubt! Help me honor you in all my ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
An excerpt from the Book “Out of Chaos”
Published on Jan 15 @ 12:44 AM EDT
I am thankful for this fast, for everything He has brought me through and from.
Posted on Sun, Jan 15, 2023 @ 2:41 AM CST
Each day, the devotional meets me right at my point of need. I’m truly grateful for this time of abiding in Christ.
Posted on Sun, Jan 15, 2023 @ 3:55 PM CST