Saul and Jonathan, loved and delightful, they were not parted in life or in death. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. (2 Samuel 1:23)
Would you write such respectful words and grieve over a person who didn’t like you or even wanted to kill you? David wrote a poem of lament for the very man who hated and attempted to kill him. He dedicated the poem to his best friend, Jonathan, as well. Despite Saul’s downward spiral towards the end of his life and his contempt towards David, David calls him “loved and delightful,” “swifter than eagles,” and stronger than the lions David fought in his youth. In this lament, David calls the daughters of Israel to weep for Saul.
David has utmost love and respect for Saul in spite of his treatment because David loves God. Recall that David chose to spare Saul’s life twice because Saul was the Lord’s anointed. David could’ve killed Saul to take his throne and live more comfortably. Instead, David trusted God’s will for Saul’s to be Israel’s first king. He trusted in God’s timing to eventually strike Saul down. Still, David was deeply saddened upon learning Saul and Jonathan’s death. Therefore, David wrote a lament to honor the life of a man who died in the frontline for Israel, grieving the loss of a soul.
David’s faith, obedience, and love for God foreshadows Jesus. The way David speaks well of Saul resembles Jesus speaking well of us as our advocate. David and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ followed God’s will over their personal pleasures. Will you listen to God’s call?