Almost a year ago I read about the prophet Samuel’s death and the Lord reminded me of the need to mourn. Samuel was a faithful prophet. He was a righteous man. His life was worthy of mourning. He had done so much to further the kingdom. Mourning seemed right.
After the death of Samuel, I have watched David struggle, fighting for his life, fighting for his crown, all throughout the next 6 chapters of 1 Samuel and many Psalms. And now in the first chapter of 2 Samuel another great man in David’s life dies.
His name was King Saul.
But Saul was different. Yes, he started out following the Lord, leading a mighty nation, walking in obedience to the law, but something evil got a hold of his heart. Pride. And pride certainly proceeded his fall. Saul turned into his own worst enemy and definitely David’s. As long as Saul was alive David had much to fear. Now that Saul was dead, how did David react?
He mourned the death of a man that sought to destroy him.
He tour His clothes and wept. He wrote a song lamenting the loss of a mighty leader.
And I am trying to soak in this lesson, but my heart doesn’t understand.
David, Saul tried to kill you. He betrayed you on every occasion. Finally, now that he is dead, your calling can be fulfilled! Why do you mourn? Why don’t you rejoice?
Except Saul wasn’t just an angry king, he was David’s father-in-law. He was his best friend’s dad. He was the first earthly king of Israel that David had admired for so long. And now he was gone. There was no hope for reconciliation. No hope for a happy ending. It was over. Such a tragedy. And David’s heart broke. Yes he had lost Jonathon, his kindred friend, his soul brother, his great defender, and he was mourning him too. But the reality that David mourned the loss of his enemy should not be quickly passed over.
The complexity of their relationship makes David’s behavior even more profound. He took some time to work through the pain. Writing music was David’s gift, given by the creator, in which he felt God’s pleasure, a way that He processed, recorded, and reviewed the story of his life unfolding. David took time to tend to his soul. He did what he was designed to do in order to work through the pain that we were not designed to experience. This was not the ending he dreamed of perhaps, but it was here, and he needed to figure it out.
When I first read this story, I admit, I related with David. I know a Saul. I have been hurt, let down, and betrayed., and the emotions are raw.
But as I meditate on this passage something occurs to me.
I am not David.
I am Saul.
You see, I too have impatiently disobeyed when I wanted things my way. I have been jealous of those succeeding where I fail. I have hurt those closest to me.
I have deserved censure, but instead received praise.
The truth is that when God the Father looks at me, He doesn’t recount my failings. In fact in Zephaniah 3:17 says that He sings over me!
He sings over me, like David sang over Saul. God looks at me and sees the righteousness of Christ and He loves me. Despite every mistake, every shortcoming, and every sinful choice. He sings over me.
And knowing this gives me the grace to forgive and to pray for healing in the lives of those that have hurt me. Amen!