Summary: This sermon deals with how David reacted to the death of King Saul and Jonathan. It will help us see how we should handle the death of loved ones and others.
How Should We Deal With Death?
2 Samuel 1: 1-27
1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag, 2on the third day, behold, it happened that a man came from Saul's camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. So it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself.
3And David said to him, "Where have you come from?" So he said to him, "I have escaped from the camp of Israel."
4Then David said to him, "How did the matter go? Please tell me." And he answered, "The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also."
5So David said to the young man who told him, "How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?"
6Then the young man who told him said, "As I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, there was Saul, leaning on his spear; and indeed the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.
7Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, 'Here I am.'
8And he said to me, 'Who are you?' So I answered him, 'I am an Amalekite.' 9He said to me again, 'Please stand over me and kill me, for anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.'
10So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord." 11Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him.
12And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
13Then David said to the young man who told him, "Where are you from?" And he answered, "I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite."
14So David said to him, "How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the LORD'S anointed?"
15Then David called one of the young men and said, "Go near, and execute him!" And he struck him so that he died.
16So David said to him, "Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the LORD'S anointed.' "
17Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son,
18and he told them to teach the children of Judah the Song of the Bow; indeed it is written in the Book of Jasher:
19"The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!
20Tell it not in Gath, Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon--
Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21"O mountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew nor rain upon you,
Nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there!
The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.
22From 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.
26I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
You have been very pleasant to me; Your love to me was wonderful,
Surpassing the love of women.
27"How the mighty have fallen, And the weapons of war perished!"
In the early days of the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee was severely criticized by General William Whiting. It might have been expected that Lee would wait for a time when he could get even with Whiting. A day came when President Jefferson Davis asked General Lee to come for consultation. The President wanted to know what Lee thought of General Whiting. Without hesitation Lee commended Whiting in high terms and called him one of the ablest men in the Confederate army. An officer present motioned Lee aside to suggest that he must not know what unkind things Whiting had been saying about him. Lee answered: "I understood that the President desired to know my opinion of Whiting, not Whiting's opinion of me."