Consider the heart of David. Israel had just lost her king. Saul was appointed by God but went away from him. Because of this God took away the throne. This departure from God by Saul caused trouble for Israel. That’s what happens when a nation’s leaders go away from God. The only hope for Israel was a shepherd boy named David.
Saul had a long pursuit after David; he hated him because God had replaced David as king. He wouldn’t accept it. Even though God had dismissed Saul and he was a wreck spiritually God still saw him through until his death. David honored Saul because technically he was still the king of Israel. David’s best friend was Saul’s son Jonathan. They met the Philistines at Mount Gilboa. There Jonathan died along with Saul. When David got the news, the servant was glad to inform him but David chided the messenger.
II Samuel 1:16 And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed. 17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: 18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
Saul was Commander and Chief of Israel. Many soldiers died. Some came home but Saul and his family did not. The use of the bow meant that David wanted this written down and be known as a song of the bow. Even though David didn’t get along with Saul’s family, with the exception of Jonathan, he was not forgetting the soldiers who died. Above all we should never forget the Captain of our Salvation. When we were alienated from God, Jesus fought for our souls. No one could do this but Jesus.
Saul wasn’t right with God and the people knew it. We can tell it as a nation. Be careful. People know if you’re not right with God. The nation of Israel fell apart but Jonathan stood out. We need more Jonathan’s as well as more David’s. This is why our nation if falling. Kids are killing kids. There were more shootings this week. We don’t need for Isis or some foreign nation to come in and destroy us; we’re doing it ourselves. We’ve wrecked the minds of our kids with the music and philosophies of this world. The Bible tells us that sin is a reproach to any people; righteousness exalts a nation. David saw what Saul could have been. The casualties of war take the bad and the good. The best of men die for their countries. That doesn’t guarantee them a ticket to heaven; only those with the Lord in their heart go to heaven. Jesus spilled his blood to make us free.
In the next few verses, David composed this tribute and we’ll read it.
19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! 20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. 21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. 22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. 23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. 24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. 25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. 26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. 27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!
David’s heart was broken. We forget too easily the ones who died for our country. We also forget about the greatest soldier, Jesus. Through the shedding of blood we are made free. Don’t forget the fallen soldiers and don’t forget Jesu who died on Calvary but rose on the third day. He fell, suffered and died. If you’re not saved your country and your family needs you to get saved. God wants you to go to heaven not hell.