Remarkable Grace

(Today's post by Chris Queen)

2 Samuel 1


A few weeks ago, we last looked at the saga of Saul and David. 1 Samuel 31 (which, by the quirk of the calendar, I wrote about) was the season finale with the ultimate cliffhanger – the death of King Saul and his sons at the hands of the Philistines. As 2 Samuel 1, the season premiere, opens, David first learns of Saul’s death from an Amalekite who took part in the fighting.

4“What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.”

“The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”

5Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”

6“I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit. 7When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’

8“He asked me, ‘Who are you?’

“ ‘An Amalekite,’ I answered.

9“Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’

10“So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.”

David and his men spend the rest of the day in mourning, weeping and fasting before he had the messenger killed for taking the king’s life.

Then what? Do we see David celebrating the fact that he is now king? Do we see a battle scene with David avenging the death of the anointed of Israel? King David could have reacted with a response like, “Good. Saul’s dead.” Or he could have just mourned for Jonathan. No, instead we witness a tender moment where David, the talented musician, composes a beautiful eulogy in memory of the fallen.

23Saul and Jonathan—

in life they were loved and admired,

and in death they were not parted.

They were swifter than eagles,

they were stronger than lions.

24“Daughters of Israel,

weep for Saul,

who clothed you in scarlet and finery,

who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

25“How the mighty have fallen in battle!

Jonathan lies slain on your heights.

David showed remarkable grace toward his enemy Saul – even in his death. Do you have enemies to whom you can show grace? How can you show grace more often in your everyday life?

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  • Brad Bacon

    Love this moment of grace! And the coining of the phrase, “how the mighty have fallen.” Interesting that the phrase was a lament in this context, and now it is generally used in condemnation and spite.

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