Sermons

Summary: In every city, town, and community there are memorials. We see memorials in the form of crosses along the highway signifying where a loved one was killed in a traffic accident. Memorial monuments are set up in nearly every city to commemorate war heroes

How Are The Mighty Fallen” A Memorial 2 Samuel 1: 17-19

In every city, town, and community there are memorials. We see memorials in the form of crosses along the highway signifying where a loved one was killed in a traffic accident. Memorial monuments are set up in nearly every city to commemorate war heroes or great citizens of that town. Building, bridges, highways, colleges and universities, hospitals, airports are named after people to help us remember them.

Every memorial has a message. A memorial is a commemoration to recollect, rehearse, and remember.

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something that turned his blood cold. A squadron of Japanese aircraft were speeding their way toward the American fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was defenseless. He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival he reported in and related the event surrounding his return.

The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had in fact destroyed five enemy aircraft.

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

In our text, we have a MEMORIAL for Jonathan and Saul instituted and set up by David.

Three times in verse 19, 25, 27 we find the words, “How are the mighty fallen.”

There is a LOSS TO BE LAMENTED - Saul and Jonathan have died

A. Many have fallen through DEATH

Greene, Roloff, John R. Rice, Sightler, Roloff , Kelly, Tom Malone, Lee Roberson

B. Some have fallen through DISCOURAGEMENT

C. Few have fallen through DISGRACE

How my heart hurts to hear of those men who have fallen through females and finances.

There are some LESSONS TO BE LEARNED in this story.

David “bade them teach the children of Judah the bow.” David used this time to instruct the people and set up a memorial to his friend Jonathan.

I. REMEMBER THAT LABORING (activity) IS A VALUABLE COMFORT IN ANY LOSS.

The people were very grieved, for Saul and Jonathan, the king and the crown prince, were slain. David pampers their grief by writing a song which the daughters of Israel may sing.

A. There was the sorrow that must have shattered

Sure there was grief; Saul and Jonathan were going to be missed. Their seat would be empty.

B. There was the summons which must have startled

To take their minds off their sorrow, he, at the same time, issues an order to teach the children of Judah the use of the bow—for activity is an effectual remedy in the time of sorrow. Certainly the opposite of it would tend towards depression and despair.

In any loss activity is valuable as a comfort.

Do not just sit and brood over your loss.

Do not shut yourself up to meditate upon the great loss that has befallen you.

This can do you no good whatever!

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