David mourns the loss of Saul and Jonathan. He writes a eulogy for them and commands that it be written down and taught to the people of Judah.
David’s grief was genuine. He loved Jonathan with all his heart. He also loved Saul. No matter how Saul treated him, David refused to return his hatred. It is easy to love those who are nice to you and love you. It is another thing all together to love those who treat you cruelly.
It would have been so expected for David to return Saul’s hatred. David’s own people were puzzled by his refusal to strike back at Saul. David could have killed Saul twice but he refused to act. This is the first time we see such a love written about in scripture. It is the kind of love Jesus displayed.
In David’s eulogy for Saul and Jonathan he doesn’t even hint at the abhorrent behavior of Saul. I know the custom in eulogies is to sing the person’s praises but they are also supposed to represent the truth of the relationship between the deceased and the one speaking of them.
David spoke personally of Jonathan and the special place he held in his heart. “Your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women” (verse 26b). For a man, that was HIHG praise indeed. Of Saul, David speaks of his deeds for Israel. He “clothed you luxuriously in scarlet” and “put ornaments of gold on your apparel” ( verse 24).
David also sings of their battle skills. “How the mighty have fallen!” (verse 19b). “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. Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions” (verses 22-23).
Not once did David mention the breach between Saul and Samuel. He said nothing of the troubled spirit Saul exhibited. Nor does he speak of Saul’s relentless hunt for David himself. Saul’s sins are absent.
This is the way I would like to be remembered. No faults listed, even though they existed. Praised from a loving heart who truly sees what God saw in me. I know I won’t be here to hear it but I hope to hear it said that I loved well and shared God’s love wherever I could. That alone is enough for me.
Father God, thank You that You see the good in me, no matter how far down that ‘good’ may be hiding. You show me what I can be instead of the faults of what I am currently. Thank You for believing in me! Thank You for loving me even before I loved You.
Help me see the good in others too. This DOESN’T mean that I ignore their sins or attempts to hurt me but that I love them in spite of their actions, just like You do.