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: Sabrina Botts
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work…, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work…”.
For me, rest, in general, can be a difficult concept to grasp. Logically, I understand what it means to rest, but transparently, I don’t give rest and relaxation the same value that I assign to work. For me, there is nothing more significant than executing good work. This mindset can be an incredible asset for accomplishing tasks, being productive, and achieving goals; however, lately, I am experiencing some ‘side effects’ of this constant ‘go’ lifestyle. It’s an exhausting lifestyle to always be continually needing to accomplish something. I find that I am still able to achieve goals, but my quality of life is beginning to suffer.
This has me wondering if this mindset is the one that God intended for my life? Am I dishonoring God by not prioritizing rest and relaxation? It brings me to explore the biblical concept of “Sabbath” and how God intended for it to be lived out in our lives as modern-day Christians.
Consider the above passage, Genesis 2:1-3. God did an incredible work in six days, but on the seventh day, he chose to rest. Why is that? Some biblical scholars note that God’s resting signified that his work was complete, leaving no need to continue working. This is an obvious truth, but the importance and weight of Sabbath goes beyond that. As we look through scripture we see that God’s action to rest becomes a pattern for his children to follow.
The first time we see Sabbath ‘instituted’ for his people was from the very beginning of when they became God’s people. Exodus shows us that once God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, fulfilling the promise to make them into a people for his own, the Sabbath was included in the commandments given at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20:8-11). In fact, it was so critical that it applied to them, their children, their families, animals and even visitors in the land. Additionally, note that in Leviticus 25:1-7 they were even commanded to give their land a Sabbath year. If we look closely, I think the reason will begin to emerge.
Notice, in Leviticus 25:3-4 God says to give their land a complete rest. “For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather your crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.” This means that for an entire year, they were not to put in any work to bring about a harvest; no tilling, no pruning and he gave an added command for them not to store up what grew the six years prior to the Sabbath year. I can’t imagine what it was like to be an agricultural society, solely dependent on crops for food and for livelihood, and every seven years you are commanded to not plant, prune or harvest any crops for an entire year. To make matters worse, you can’t even store up a food supply for the year that you can’t work!
But notice, in verse 6, they were allowed to eat whatever grew on its own during the 7th year. Grow on its own? Without any help from the landowner? Without fertilizing, pulling weeds, fighting pests, providing water? Yes, God was inviting them to watch, and see what He alone could do for them. See, Sabbath highlights an important principle that is critical for us to remember today. Sabbath is not about the prohibition to work, or the commandment of inactivity, Sabbath is about trust and ownership.
Often the fruit of our labor can confuse us into believing that we are our own source. We have been blessed abundantly with material and physical gifts, and many of us are blessed to use those gifts to accomplish great things in the earth that reap financial rewards, enjoyable employment, accolades, and success. However, when we Sabbath, it forces us to push back, take our hands off and remember our true source.
When we recognize God as our true source, then it is much easier to ask Him to assist us, to provide for us and to look to Him for a solution when things do not go as expected. Sabbath is our reminder to trust God with our growth, prosperity, and financial futures rather than doing it at any cost to us and our families. It forces us to trust Him to grow our ministries, build our families, improve our health and cultivate our hearts as we work, watch, and wait. God alone is our provider. This gift of sabbath helps us to rightly relate to Him in every area of our lives. For that, we are truly made better, and God is indeed glorified.
Father, I am learning how to trust You and see You as my true and only Source. Thank you for commanding me to rest. To take my hands off of the driving wheel of my life, and let You step in and take over. May Sabbath not simply be a day for me, but make Sabbath a lifestyle. Remind me that in all of my labor, You are the One who produces every result. By the strength of Your Strong Name, I pray. Amen.
DAILY SPIRITUAL EXERCISE
I challenge you today to sit before these scriptures and ask God to speak to you about the areas of your life that need the concept of Sabbath. Is it in your career? Your family? Your ministry? Some other thing? Are you able to trust God with it in such a way that you can push back and leave the results to Him?
Published on Jan 12 @ 12:32 AM EDT
Trust in God ????And Rest on Sabbath day! Great messages! Thank you!
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 12:28 AM CST
This Word was for me, personally. It is reminding me to rest and Trust God in everything because he is my Source!
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 4:36 AM CST
Wow, to rest—so simple, yet so powerful.
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 5:02 AM CST
Thank you Minister Botts for the clear enlightenment of what the Sabbath really means! Be Blessed!
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 6:53 AM CST
Yes I can put the correct name to something I’ve been doing for awhile in my life. I’ve always been a hard worker. Sometimes in my early years working two jobs. I always wanted more. I was blessed to make a pretty good salary, though not always a good steward of that money, but I was able to live a good lifestyle. So in my senior years, I’m living the Sabath. Living off a fixed income you definitely learn quickly that God is your source. My little has always been enough. When I start paying bills, I’m reminded that only God could stretch my money to pay all my bills and I can pay for my medicine and eat monthly. Thank you Jesus!!! Hallelujah! I may not have a new car but my 2002 SUV has never put me down. It runs well and I know that’s nothing but God. I’m paying a mortgage and have never been late and pay ALL my bills are paid on time. Thank you Father!! So yes I learned to live in the Sabeth even in my youth. My hard times I knew it wasn’t me that got me through them: but God! Thank you Jesus!!!
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 7:02 AM CST
Oh how I needed this message today. Feeling overwhelmed & guilty about having 'so much to do in so may areas & never enough time!' Thanks for reminding us that it's ok to rest & delay sometimes. Trusting God for a harvest in spite of... Teach me Lord to 'Let Go and Let God' in times of needed rest! Thank you Minister Botts!
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 7:43 AM CST
Excellent,so important in a Christian life,Amen,thanks for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you .
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 8:21 AM CST
I do my best to never work on Sundays and to rest and refuel for the week, especially after church and hearing pastors word. This passage truly helped me understand even more about what God says about "Sabbath." God is really the true source and we must trust him as such. That story about the farmers perfectly illustrated that..
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 8:32 AM CST
Thank you for this word about the sabbath today. God revealed a new understanding of the complete meaning of sabbath and it's holiness. I will seek rest in the Lord so as to let him renew and strengthen my faith in Him. With keeping the sabbath holy He can prove to me He's got this, whatever it may be that I need to rest in. Love it :-)
Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2023 @ 9:04 AM CST