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
The Way That I Take
Author: L.B. Cowman, Compiler
“He knows the way that I take.”
O believer, what a glorious assurance this verse is! What confidence I have because “the way that I take”—this way of trials and tears, however winding, hidden, or tangled—“He knows”! When the “furnace [is] heated seven times hotter than usual” (Daniel 3:19), I can know He still lights my way. There is an almighty Guide who knows and directs my steps, whether they lead to the bitter water at the well of Marah or to the joy and refreshment of the oasis at Elim (Exodus 15:23, 27).
The way is dark to the Egyptians yet has its own pillar of cloud and fire for God’s Israel. The furnace may be hot, but not only can I trust the hand that lights the fire, I can also have the assurance the fire will not consume but only refine. And when the refining process is complete, not a moment too soon or too late, “I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
When I feel God is the farthest away, He is often the nearest to me. “When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way” (Psalm 142:3). Do we know of another who shines brighter than the most radiant sunlight, who meets us in our room with the first waking light, who has an infinitely tender and compassionate watchfulness over us throughout our day, and who “knows the way that [we] take”?
The world, during a time of adversity, speaks of “providence” with a total lack of understanding. They dethrone God, who is the living, guiding Sovereign of the universe, to some inanimate, dead abstraction. What they call “providence” they see as occurrences of fate, reducing God from His position as our acting, powerful, and personal Jehovah.
The pain would be removed from many an agonizing trial if only I could see what Job saw during his time of severe affliction, when all earthly hope lay dashed at his feet. He saw nothing but the hand of God—God’s hand behind the swords of the Sabeans who attacked his servants and cattle, and behind the devastating lightning; God’s hand giving wings to the mighty desert winds, which swept away his children; and God’s hand in the dreadful silence of his shattered home.
Thus, seeing God in everything, Job could say, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). Yet his faith reached its zenith when this once-powerful prince of the desert “sat among the ashes” (Job 2:8) and still could say, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15). J. R. MACDUFF
God, help me trust you with my decisions and future. Let me lean on you with all my heart instead of relying on my own imperfect understanding. Give me clear guidance in my life. I ask for your help to direct my path. This I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
An excerpt from the book: "Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening"
Published on Jan 26 @ 12:44 AM EDT
Great Word! Amen ???? Thank you!
Posted on Thu, Jan 26, 2023 @ 12:12 AM CST
I used to pray a version of this prayer (“Let me lean on you with all my heart instead of relying on my own imperfect understanding”) every day but stopped somehow without noticing/realizing it. Thank you for this and reminding me that I need to continuously pray this because my understanding is imperfect and very limited unlike His.
Posted on Thu, Jan 26, 2023 @ 5:06 AM CST
Knowing God is with me in my pain, and has plans for my pain and my life is a comfort when all seems meaningless and chaotic. Thank you New Life for reminding us of the hope that Jesus gives all of us as we endure life's struggles. That God's presence is the Hope and the gift.
Posted on Thu, Jan 26, 2023 @ 7:51 AM CST