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
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Forgetting can be accidental. The name that slips our mind. The denim jacket left behind in the classroom. But sometimes we forget because we let go of a past, we don’t want to be reminded of – one that isn’t the identity we want to call forward and claim for our present, much less take with us into the future. But when we forget, we unintentionally welcome in the chaos that comes when we disconnect from a past that pairs struggle with resilience, crisis with rescue.
We see this clearly in the gospel of John. Jesus was talking to some Jews—some members of the larger family that traced their lineage back to slavery and plagues and parted seas. These people of the Passover story were listening eagerly to what Jesus was saying, so he offered them a next step: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).
It was as if a loud bang interrupted the conversation and created an awkward, echoing pause. Uh-oh. Just the mention of freedom somehow deeply offended them. For Jesus to say that they needed freedom implied they weren’t already free. So, they retorted, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (John 8:33).
We have never been slaves of anyone. Seriously? Four hundred years of bricks and whips and scars have evaporated into the air of self-confident self-reliance. No slavery. No rescue. No telling the story of the incredible acts of God. No need to depend on anyone but yourself now.
Why couldn’t they follow Jesus? Because they couldn’t remember. Or rather, they wouldn’t remember. Even though they ate the Passover meal and swallowed the memories of their people every single year, they couldn’t identify with the emaciated and oppressed bodies of slaves subservient to Egyptian masters. But when they blocked out the memory of chaos, they missed the memory of the compassionate, rescuing God who was now standing in person right before their faces.
Here was Jesus, ready to rescue—offering his blood so that the threat of death born back in the garden would pass over once again. Here was Jesus, standing at the Red Sea, offering to part the waters through baptism. Would they receive his offer? “No thanks”, they said. “We don’t recall ever being slaves. We’re just fine as we are thanks. We’ve edited the memory of our story so that we don’t have to depend on anyone but ourselves, Jesus. You keep your rescue for somebody who really needs it.”
The Bible is full of stories people would rather not tell—prostitutes in the family tree, denials, and betrayals at just the wrong crucial moments, darkness and death and abandonment on a cross. If we cut out these stories, we don’t get to remember the next chapters. Our memory of a swirling, chaotic past redeemed by God is the only thing that makes us desperate enough to follow him to a clearer future.
We’ll never remember it all alone, so God calls us to remind each other often. We remember our sins corporately in words of confession. We say the Lord’s Prayer as a family—our Father, not just my Father. We eat bread and drink wine and find ourselves standing together in remembrance, our voices joining in unison with every saint, living and dead, all present together at the Lord’s table. Our memory is vast, our voice united. When we speak together, chaos cannot touch it.
Father, I pray that I may know the truth. I choose your freedom in my life, for my family and in my home. Lord, guide me in your truth. May my entire family be led by your truth. May I continually walk in your truth – in my marriage, in my business, in all of my relationships, throughout my entire life; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in the light of your truth. In all things, may it be my constant guide. In the Name of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.
Excerpt from the Book, “Out of Chaos”
Published on Jan 30 @ 12:38 AM EDT
Wow. Everytime I’ve read that passage I took it as “we really weren’t slaves” being descendants from Abraham through Ishmael or something—not that “we’re going to pretend this didn’t happen” like so many people do today especially when it comes to civil rights and slavery. Thank you for understanding and correcting me Father.
Posted on Mon, Jan 30, 2023 @ 4:57 AM CST