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 all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37 (NIV)
This is more than victory. This is a triumph so complete that we not only have escaped defeat and destruction but also have destroyed our enemies and won plunder so rich and valuable that we can actually thank God for the battle. How is it that we can be “more than conquerors”? We are more than conquerors because we receive from the conflict a spiritual discipline that will greatly strengthen our faith and establish our spiritual character, and assure us victory in the next battle. That time-tested refrain from one of the old hymns of the church, still rings in each man’s heart with a truth more clear today than ever before: “Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin. Each victory will help us some other to win.”
Temptations, test and trials are necessary to establish and ground us in our spiritual life. It is like the fierce winds that cause the mighty cedars on the mountainside to sink their roots more deeply into the soil. Our spiritual conflicts are among our most wonderful blessings, and the Adversary is used to train us for his own ultimate defeat. The ancient Phrygians of Asia Minor had a legend that every time they conquered an enemy, they absorbed the physical strength of their victims and added to their own strength and bravery. And in truth, meeting temptation victoriously doubles our spiritual strength and weaponry.
Therefore it is possible not only to defeat our enemy but also to capture him and make him fight in our ranks. The prophet Isaiah tells of “fly[ing] upon the shoulders of the Philistines” (Isaiah 11:14 KJV). These Philistines were their deadly foes, but this passage suggests that they would be able not only to conquer the Philistines but also to ride on their backs to further triumphs. Just as a skilled sailor can use a head wind to carry him forward, by using its impelling power to follow a zigzag course, it is possible for us in our spiritual life, through the victorious grace of God, to turn completely around the things that seem most unfriendly and unfavorable. Then we will be able to say continually, “What has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).
Early sailors believed the coral-building animals instinctively built up the great reefs of the Atoll Islands in order to protect themselves in the inner waterway. He has shown these organisms can only live and thrive facing the open ocean in the highly oxygenated foam of the combative waves.
It is commonly thought that a protected and easy life is the best way to live. Yet the lives of all the noblest and strongest people prove exactly the opposite and that the endurance of hardship is the making of the person. It is the factor that distinguishes between merely existing and living a vigorous life. Hardship builds character. SELECTED
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Father, thank You for not just freeing me from temptations, tests and trials. Thank You for the overwhelming victory You have given me over my defeated enemy. Will You forgive me when I fail to remember that You have already fought my battles, and won? Please help me to live a life characterized by the victory You have given me. I am more than a conqueror, for Your glory. Amen.
Daily Spiritual Exercise
The Living Bible Translation of Psalm 34:4 says, “For I cried to him and he answered me! He freed me from all my fears.” What great comfort that He answers and that He answers in favor of freedom. Psalm 34 might be a good starting place for 3 to 5 minutes of ‘Worship and Prayer’ for today. It certainly is a great reminder of what the Lord is doing for us. As you pray, remember that victory in Christ is freedom to enjoy the life He has designed for us—a life lived with that design is the freest of all, and consequently where we will bring Him the most glory.
Published on Jan 5 @ 12:48 AM EDT
Pastor :Deanna Kelly
Victory is mine! and I am more than a conqueror! what a great message from God today! Thank you all ????
Posted on Thu, Jan 5, 2023 @ 12:15 AM CST
Thank you for this reminder. He has already given us victory over our tests/trails, it’s up to us to choose to accept the victory or not. Thank you Father!
Posted on Thu, Jan 5, 2023 @ 3:30 AM CST
This devotion really blessed our family as we read them together and do the daily spuritual exercise
Posted on Thu, Jan 5, 2023 @ 12:42 PM CST