I’m not sure what you think about when I talk about David. Maybe you remember big stories like the one about David’s battle against Goliath. Perhaps you think about the songs that said, “Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands.” When we think about this mighty warrior-king, though, our picture wouldn’t be complete without seeing that David felt deeply. He was creative, artistic, and expressive.
Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in The Book of Jashar. (2 Samuel 1:17-18 NLT)
David played music. David composed music. We have many of David’s lyrics captured in the book of Psalms – a book of poetic lyrics that used to be set to music. Here, we see David expressing his heart in song.
Your pride and joy, O Israel, lies dead on the hills! Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen! Don't announce the news in Gath, don't proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon, or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice and the pagans will laugh in triumph. (2 Samuel 1:19-20 NLT)
David mourned the death of Saul. This says something about David’s character, considering the fact that Saul tried to kill David many, many times. David, though, felt the loss not only for himself but for the whole of Israel as well.
O mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fruitful fields producing offerings of grain. For there the shield of the mighty heroes was defiled; the shield of Saul will no longer be anointed with oil. The bow of Jonathan was powerful, and the sword of Saul did its mighty work. They shed the blood of their enemies and pierced the bodies of mighty heroes. How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan! They were together in life and in death. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. (2 Samuel 1:21-23 NLT)
David honored the memories of their king and his son, Jonathan. He praised the good that they did as mighty warriors for The King. David remembered the good in Saul, the good in Jonathan, and set those memories to music so everyone would remember.
O women of Israel, weep for Saul, for he dressed you in luxurious scarlet clothing, in garments decorated with gold. Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies dead on the hills. How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan! Oh, how much I loved you! And your love for me was deep, deeper than the love of women! Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen! Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead. (2 Samuel 1:24-27 NLT)
David lamented for himself. He lamented for Israel. He lamented with The LORD who lost his first representative-king. David grieved deeply, mourning the loss of friends, leaders, and men chosen and appointed by God.
How about you? When you lose someone in your life, do you lament? Do you grieve the loss of a person made in the image of God? Do you remember the good in them? Do you lament with the King?