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
Too Busy For God
By Derin Dickerson
“And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.”
2 Chronicles 12:14
What is your heart set on? What occupies the inner thoughts of your soul? The issues, people, and things that frequently come to your mind without active effort are likely what your heart is set on. It is so easy with the busyness of life to devote our attention, time, affection, and resources to things other than God. The real danger is when the stuff that crowds God out of our lives appears to be good, honorable, and pleasurable.
For example, we often excuse our neglect of our relationship with God because we are committed to our families, our work, or even our ministries. Or we excuse our failure to cultivate our relationship with God because we are working hard, and we have to provide for ourselves and others. Of course, God wants you to be a good husband, wife, father, mother, or church member, right? We convince ourselves that we are making the right choice and appropriately placing our priorities.
While it might appear that we are doing a good or even a godly thing, if we allow ourselves to get disconnected from the True Vine, then even our most sincere efforts at ministry, family, and work will be ineffective. In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Even our most sincere efforts to do the right things fall flat when we are not connected to Christ.
Perhaps even more alarming, when we are disconnected from Christ, we become susceptible to doing evil. In 2 Chronicles, 2:14 (NIV), the Bible says of King Rehoboam that “he did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.” Notice what the Bible does not say. It does not say that King Rehoboam did evil because his heart was wicked, or because he was on drugs or because of his ungodly upbringing. Instead, the Bible says that King Rehoboam did evil because he did not make his relationship with God a priority in his life.
Now, let’s notice what happened because of this neglect. God had established Rehoboam as king of Israel when he was 41 years old. The Bible says, “he had become strong”, which simply means that his kingdom and reign had become securely established. But then Rehoboam and all of Israel “abandoned the law of the Lord” and became “unfaithful to the Lord.” Because of this, God allowed the Egyptian king to attack Israel and capture the fortified city of Judah.
When you allow the busyness of life to crowd God out, you become susceptible to disobedience and ultimately invite hardships and challenges into your life. You must actively fight this temptation and affirmatively set your heart on God daily. You do this by spending time reading and studying God’s word, by talking to God throughout the day, and by committing to fasting on a periodic basis.
Be encouraged to keep your heart focused on God. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and learn to follow Jesus one day at a time. In Psalm 10:4 (NIV), David says: “In his pride, the wicked man does not seek Him, in all his thoughts, there is no room for God.” Never allow the pressures and interests of your life to crowd God out. Instead, actively, and intentionally make room for God in your thoughts, heart, and life by committing to prayer, studying, and meditating on God’s word, and to fasting.
Dear Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that you have called me to spend precious time with you; to come back to you day after day. Please help me find the path to you. My heart longs to know that you’re with me. Open my ears and my eyes for signs of you. I want to feel the love and peace that comes from knowing you. I pray this in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Published on Jan 17 @ 12:10 AM EDT
Awesome devotion,touch my heart,made me think,to do better
Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2023 @ 8:16 AM CST
?? Thank you! Yes Indeed, One day at a time, daily becoming aware of not allowing the business of my life journey and assignments to push or crowd God out of my life! God First, do our best for His Glory and leave the outcome to Him! Stay Connected To The Vine!??????
Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2023 @ 8:34 AM CST
DEEP...I have so many "good" reasons to not do what I'm supposed to do biblically: attend service, tithe, read my bible, etc. This puts it into perspective.
Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2023 @ 10:21 AM CST
Revelation Because evil is done does not mean I am not saved but evil is done because my priority is not seeking 1st the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness and acknowledging Him n all my ways
Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2023 @ 5:21 PM CST
Amen. Totally how I am feeling right now. Trying to make my way back to Jesus. Remembering the love He has for me. Thank you.Father
Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2023 @ 9:07 PM CST
Thank you minister Derin. There is never a time we can't be reminded that we should have that personal relationship with Christ in prayer, fasting and just giving God thanks
Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2023 @ 9:34 AM CST