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March 5, 2022 - 2 Samuel 1

Just one chapter and another perplexing story: the young man who reported to David that he had killed Saul. The report seems to be that almost of a mercy killing. Saul was in terrible anguish, he could not live, and he himself asked the guy to put him out of his misery. David's response: “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” (1:14) And then, David had the guy killed, saying to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed’” (1:16). Perhaps it was the actual killing of Saul, but I suspect it was more that David perceived a boasting and a selfish desire on the part of the young man to benefit personally from killing David's rival.


No doubt, though, that David personally and deeply mourned the death of Saul and Jonathan. Always, David had shown a right respect for the king and had recognized Saul as God’s anointed ruler. David was a good king, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), though far from perfect. Things are about to get difficult for David; actually, it had been so for a long time, but even his own flesh and blood would now seek his overthrow. Through it all, David exhibited the fear of God and the heart that good leaders must have. What does such a heart look like? It is the heart that, with George Herbert, will plead:


Teach me, my God and King,

in all things Thee to see,

and what I do in anything,

to do it as for Thee. -- George Herbert (1633)

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