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  • Writer's pictureChristy Schuette

Grieving For Our Enemies

May 28


2 Samuel 1-2

Psalm 66:16-20

Proverbs 14:24-25

John 18


Grieving For Our Enemies

 

“Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and all the men with him did the same.  They mourned, wept, and fasted until the evening for those who died by the sword---for Saul, his son Jonathan, the Lord’s people, and the house of Israel.” 2 Samuel 1:11-12 HCSB

 

In our readings for the last two days, we have seen David hiding in the desert, fearing for his life because Saul was trying to kill him.  On two separate occasions, David had the opportunity to kill Saul, but he refused to lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.  He trusted God to provide justice and did not take matters into his own hands. Yesterday Saul and his sons were killed in battle.  In today’s passages we see David’s reaction to the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.  Instead of rejoicing that his enemy had been destroyed, David tore his clothes, mourned, and wept.  He wrote a beautiful lament and sang it for Saul and Jonathan.  Jonathan was his dear friend so it is not surprising that David would mourn for him.  But he also mourned for Saul.  He praised Saul and said he was dearly loved.  David was about to be king.  God was fulfilling His promise to him.  It would have been easy for David to gloat and be happy, but that was not his reaction. Grieving the death of your enemies is evidence of a heart that is unselfish, loving, and full of mercy.  We can certainly understand why God said David was a man after His own heart.  Verse 11 says that all the men with him mourned as well.  These men had been in the wilderness with David for all those years, too. It would be natural for them to rejoice when Saul was killed so that they could return home.  Their reaction speaks volumes about David’s leadership.  He could have stirred up their anger and hatred toward Saul, but apparently, he did not do that.  They followed his lead and grieved for Saul and his sons, too. 

 

Their reaction is an impressive example for us.  Hopefully, we do not have anyone trying to kill us, but we each occasionally find ourselves in circumstances where we have been wronged.  It is natural to want to see that person punished.  We want retribution.  We want them to pay for what they did to us or to someone we love.   Instead of allowing God to handle that for us, sometimes we take matters into our own hands, and we get revenge.  I think we know that is not pleasing to God, but David even went a step further.  He waited patiently for several years, and he allowed God to bring about punishment for Saul in His time.  He did everything right and then he reacted to the deaths with love, humility, and unselfishness.  He was not concerned about his own rights and getting the satisfaction of being vindicated.  David trusted God completely to take care of him and meet his needs which allowed him to be selfless and offer mercy and grace to others.


 

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