DAVID the MOURNER. 2 Samuel 1:1-16
Some people show their feelings, particularly when it comes to funerals. Others keep a stiff upper lip – they handle grief as a very private thing and don’t want others to see them crying.
King David celebrated and also mourned in public. The readings this week let us in on three occasions when David mourned the loss of friends or family.
vv 11-12 David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news. They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the Lord’s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day.
Is that what you might have expected from David? After all, Saul had been hunting down David for most of his adult life and had caused him so much heartache. The way to the throne was now open for David so you might have expected some sort of celebration! But no, David had great respect for Saul as God’s anointed King, and his mourning for Saul was genuine. He mourned too the death of his best friend, Jonathan, as well as the loss of so many of Israel’s soldiers. The battle had been a national disaster and David felt it very acutely.
Put aside for one moment the deaths of Saul and Jonathan and focus on the bigger picture. Israel – the people of God – had been defeated and the Philistines had taken over the land. David and his men mourned both personal and national losses. National loss and disgrace touches citizens deeply. At this moment you may not be mourning the loss of a loved one or friend, but I feel something is dying in our nation – and it is something about which we should be praying with great urgency.