Second Samuel 1 Commentary
Saul is dead. Jonathan and Saul’s other two sons are also dead. The sad news is communicated to David at Ziglag. It shouldn’t be true but it is. He is devastated. He mourns, weeps, and fasts for Saul, for the army, and for Israel.
David returns to music to express his heart. When we read the psalms of David, we know we are getting into the heart of David. These songs were never produced for commercial purposes in the manner of much of today’s music. The reader is encouraged to pay attention. The context is important but there is much more.
The young David had reacted in holy anger when he heard Goliath insult the living God. The reaction is the same here. David knows the LORD God Almighty is lord over Israel. The death of Saul and his sons, and the heavy losses suffered by the army were an insult to Israel’s status as the nation of the living God. In those days, the strength of the army was measured by the power and standing of a nation’s god. There is something wrong here. David knows it.
The young Amalekite man who delivered the news is believed as for siding with the enemy, or is the enemy himself, or aiding the enemy, and being happy that Israel is destroyed. How can David be happy about this? He is struck down and dies.
David is a shepherd at heart. The LORD deposited this quality in his heart. His concern is for the sheep of the LORD, Israel. He glosses over the fact that Saul had tried to kill him several times. Instead, he focuses on the good of the man and the role he played as Israel’s leader. Things shouldn’t end this way for Israel.
The heart of the song finds its place towards the end of the lyrics. “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me.”
As is often the case, the LORD may allow those very dear to us to depart in death. David and Jonathan were one in heart and ambition. David would have to forge ahead without the company of the love, encouragement, protection, and support of his best friend. You may find yourself in this situation. You have to move on. Yes, move on in the absence of the best gifts that the LORD once placed in your hands.
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