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
Streams in the Desert: An excerpt from the book
“Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
Prayer is the link that connects us with God. It is the bridge that spans every gulf and carries us safely over every chasm of danger or need.
Think of the significance of this story of the first-century church: Everything seemed to be coming against it, for Peter was in prison, the Jews appeared triumphant, Herod still reigned supreme, and the arena of martyrdom was eagerly awaiting the next morning so it could drink the apostle’s blood. “But the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” So what was the outcome? The prison was miraculously opened, the apostle freed, the Jews bewildered, and as a display of God’s punishment, wicked King Herod “was eaten by worms and died.” And rolling on to even greater victory, “the word of God continued to spread and flourish” (vv. 23–24). Do we truly know the power of our supernatural weapon of prayer?
Do we dare to use it with the authority of a faith that not only asks but also commands? God baptizes us with holy boldness and divine confidence, for He is looking not for great people but for people who will dare to prove the greatness of their God! “But the church was earnestly praying.” ~A. B. SIMPSON
In your prayers, above everything else, beware of limiting God, not only through unbelief but also by thinking you know exactly what He can do. Learn to expect the unexpected, beyond all that you ask or think.
So each time you intercede through prayer, first be quiet and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, how He delights in Christ His Son, and of your place in Him—then expect great things. ~ANDREW MURRAY
Our prayers are God’s opportunities. Are you experiencing sorrow? Prayer can make your time of affliction one of strength and sweetness. Are you experiencing happiness? Prayer can add a heavenly fragrance to your time of joy. Are you in grave danger from some outward or inward enemy? Prayer can place an angel by your side whose very touch could shatter a millstone into smaller grains of dust than the flour it grinds, and whose glance could destroy an entire army.
What will prayer do for you? My answer is this: Everything that God can do for you. “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (2 Chronicles 1:7). ~FREDERICK WILLIAM FARRAR
Wrestling prayer can wonders do,
Bring relief in dire straits;
Prayer can force a passage through
Iron bars and heavy gates.
Holy Father, attend to each of us in the area of prayer. We desperately admit to our need of having our hearts cultivated and molded in the school of prayer. We are weak, and we need you to strengthen us in the holy work of prayer. Our spirit cries out to you to make us holy as You are Holy. Our soul stands in need of Your power to control our thoughts and emotions so that they do not lead us astray. And our bodies look only to You for the courage to be broken, and denied its fleshly desires, so that our life may bring Your heart joy. O God revive in us a passion to pray, and may the fire you light never grow dim in our hearts. In Your Gracious Name, I pray, Amen.
Daily Spiritual Exercise
Identify one area of your life that is not sanctified before God and write it on sheet of paper. It may be a quick temper, or a relationship, or an unresolved conflict, or a marital concern, or some other area. Then determine one action you will do every day to correct and change that area of your life, and make every effort to do it. Finally, look at the sheet every morning and pray for God’s help in changing that one area of your life until it no longer exist, and then move on to the next area.
Published on Jan 2 @ 12:29 AM EDT
Thank you for allowing me to see the truth to myself and the areas I need to work on. Thank you for opening my eyes and giving me the willingness to want to change. Thank you for the “small” and “big” changes You want me to make. I yield myself to Your will and power because I cannot do anything without You. I love You and thank You for helping me become more patient and have more patience not only with others, but with myself. Thank you.
In Jesus name,
Posted on Mon, Jan 2, 2023 @ 3:48 AM CST
GOD you are so awesome!! Thank you for the opportunity to connect with you in prayer. Each day I'm asking in prayer to help me to be the best person that I can be. I want to make you my focus in everything that I do in my life. I'm trying to work on having more patience with myself and others. I know through you ALL things are possible. I pray each day for continued strength and growth in your word. Thank you Jesus, Amen.
Posted on Mon, Jan 2, 2023 @ 10:56 AM CST
Dear God help me to be a peacemaker and show love and kindness to everyone who crosses my paths
Posted on Mon, Jan 2, 2023 @ 11:46 PM CST