Gone Too Soon
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
In The Eye Of The Storm
Author: Raymond Farr
“Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.”
In Acts chapter 27, Paul describes in great detail the account of being caught in the eye of the storm while traveling the high seas. In verse 13, he talks about how the south winds blew softly over the waters, giving the ship captain the go-ahead to set sail. But shortly after setting sail out of nowhere, a violent northeasterly storm known as a Euroclydon appeared, and the ship was caught in the eye of the storm. With no light from either sun or stars, this violent storm-tossed Paul, and the crew around the ship in complete darkness. The winds howled, and the waves beat against the ship with a violent force so fierce that it felt like the ship would break apart. At that point Paul said, “all hope of getting out of this storm alive was lost.”
Back in the 70’s, a violent tornado destroyed most of our small town of 12,000 people. I was still a rebellious teenager lost in sin and doing everything I could to destroy my future. It was a normal weekday around 6:30 in the evening, and everybody was home from school. My oldest sister was on the phone, my two younger sisters were in the bedroom doing homework, and I was in the living room with my three brothers watching TV. Suddenly, the atmospheric pressure in the house became still and motionless. Seconds later, my dad burst into the house and yelled, “everybody get in the hallway NOW, and get down”. All seven children made a V-line into the hallway and hit the floor. None of us knew what was going on at the time, but we knew that if Dad said jump, we jumped then and asked questions later. The next three minutes seem like an eternity, and that’s because they were. My mom covered us with her body, and my dad covered my mom with his body, while trying to protect her and us too.
Then, out of nowhere, the house began to shake, and we heard what sounded like a freight train blasting its horn directly over us, ready to smash us to pieces. Then I heard a sound that I never heard before; this sound pierced through my heart and touched the inner part of my soul. My 275 lbs., 6 feet 3 “man’s man” dad cried out to God with tears in his eyes, “JESUS, Have Mercy Lord! Please Jesus!” Hearing my dad call on the name of Jesus, rang out louder than the noise of the storm, and immediately, there was still and calm. The winds ceased, and the noise became quiet. That day, God harken to the voice of a man and sent the storm around our house, without a broken window or even a missing shingle.
God can work in hopeless situation. That day, I witnessed my dad get his house in order. This was visually demonstrated by the husband covering the wife; the wife covering the children, and thereby God delivered the family. No storm or work of the enemy can stop God’s plan for your life when you put your house in divine order. The storms of life are coming. We must all ask ourselves if our life is in order, to endure the storms until we see the deliverance of God.
And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Acts 27: 22-24
Lord, help me not to lean on my own understanding but in everything acknowledge You so that You can direct my words, thoughts, and actions. Hold me in the storms of my life and remind me that I safe in your arms. I acknowledge you as the God of the storm, and the wind and waves obey Your Word. Speak your “peace” to my troubled soul. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Published on Jan 19 @ 12:20 AM EDT
POWERFUL TESTIMONY!! Thank You for Your arms of safety and for moving storms I didn’t even know were heading my way!
Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2023 @ 8:26 AM CST
Thank you sister Botts for sharing your story about your dad covering your family during the tornado, and how Yah delivered your family with everything intact. That part really pierced my soul. It reminded me of the heavenly Father's covering over my life, in the midst of my storms, that when I cry out to Him; He hears me, delivers me and gives me His peace. I thank Yah for this on time reminder to keep my eyes on Him despite what's going on around me. He's bigger than my problems. Blessings and peace to all.
Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2023 @ 9:11 AM CST
Lord give me your peace in the midst of my storms. I thank You for Your deliverance.
Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2023 @ 9:47 AM CST
Thank you for those encouraging words. I needed to be reminded of who God is and what He can do, if we put our trust in God. ?? for my granddaughter that suffers depression and mental instability. I Know God can heal her and make her whole ?? ??
Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2023 @ 12:07 PM CST
Powerful, Powerful, Powerful
Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2023 @ 8:42 AM CST