2 Samuel 1:17-27
17 David sang a song of sadness about Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 He ordered that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is called The Song of the Bow. It is written down in the Book of Jashar. David sang, 19 “Israel, your glorious leaders lie dead on your hills. Your mighty men have fallen. 20 “Don’t announce it in Gath. Don’t tell it in the streets of Ashkelon. If you do, the daughters of the Philistines will be glad. The daughters of men who haven’t been circumcised will be joyful. 21 “Mountains of Gilboa, may no dew or rain fall on you. May your fields not produce any offerings of grain. The shield of the mighty king lies polluted there. The shield of Saul lies there. It isn’t rubbed with oil anymore. 22 The bow of Jonathan didn’t turn back. The sword of Saul didn’t return without being satisfied. They spilled the blood of their enemies. They killed mighty men. 23 “In life Saul and Jonathan were loved and gracious. In death they were not parted. They were faster than eagles. They were stronger than lions. 24 “Daughters of Israel, sob over Saul. He dressed you in the finest clothes. He decorated your clothes with ornaments of gold. 25 “Your mighty men have fallen in battle. Jonathan lies dead on your hills. 26 My brother Jonathan, I’m filled with sadness because of you. You were very special to me. Your love for me was wonderful. It was more wonderful than the love of women. 27 “Israel’s mighty men have fallen. Their weapons of war are broken.”
What does the world tell us? Take revenge, and rejoice when evil befalls your enemies. What does David do in this passage? Writes a lament for his enemy and proclaims that it should be widely sung in Israel, because he honours the Lord’s anointed. He also, of course, grieves for his dear friend Jonathan.
Misfortune towards our enemy is not a cause for us to rejoice, it is misfortune. God is calling us to have a different attitude
to the world. One marked by love. In places overseas where there is physical persecution the common prayer asked for by the persecuted is that they can still react with love, not hatred towards their enemy. While we may not suffer the same sort
of persecution in Australia, we are called to the same behaviour.
Lord, let me honour those whom you have put in power, and let my life be marked by love, not hatred or revenge.
Written by Megan Cornell