1 Samuel 31 - 2 Samuel 2
For having suffered so much at the hands of Saul, many would have expected David to convey joy or, at the very least, relief upon hearing of Saul’s death. But we know from his mourning and his dealing with the Amalekite messenger that this was not the case. As would any secular bystander, the messenger expects the news of the incumbent king’s death to be welcomed by David. The Amalekite even implicates himself to having ended Saul’s life directly (even though the readers clearly know that he fell on his own sword) in hopes to receive a reward for his actions. But David’s heart grieves for Saul’s death and again values the life of the Lord’s anointed. What he thought would lead to great gain, the messenger’s selfish lies lead to his own execution.
David’s homage to Saul and Jonathan in his lament is a beautiful expression of his creative gifts and camaraderie with the deceased. Rather than dwell on the wrongdoing of Saul to seek his life, David chooses to publicly commemorate him in an honorable light. And David’s affections for Jonathan were no surprise. His lament portrays the delicate balance Jonathan was able to achieve between his familial loyalty and kindred friendship. There are very few instances in history where such words could be expressed about whom the rest of the world would consider your enemies. Following his lament and a long and treacherous road to fulfill God’s promise, Saul’s reign officially comes to an end and David’s reign begins.
As David begins to make his strategic advances as the new king, his first recorded order of business is to inquire of the LORD (2:1). This is a significant thing to note because it shows an area of humility in David’s leadership that Saul severely lacked. While it may have made all logical and military sense to move into Hebron- the holy burial site of Israel’s patriarchs- David confirms this with a blessing from the Lord. Already we see a dependence on God and acknowledgement of the LORD as true king over Israel that proves His anointing of David was justified. Let this type of humility guide us in our own need for God’s guidance in our lives.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
- Rev. Nameun Cho
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This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.