“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43, 44
Saul and Jonathan are killed. This part of David’s life touched me … more than any other psalm I have written about. This lament is not recorded in the Book of Psalms, but the song itself can be read in 2 Samuel chapter 1. I felt David’s pain, I felt the heartache over the loss of a brother and a friend. This was Agape’ love.
We find David lamenting over the death of Saul and his sons after battle. David’s public expression of grief over the deaths of Saul and Jonathan has been preserved into a poem, “The Song of the Bow.” David has no harsh word or condemnation for Saul–but only spoke with respect for the anointed one of God. David praised Jonathan’s love for him as “wonderful”–next to the love between Christ and his people. This affection produced a strong friendship. In David’s song, which opens and closes with “How the mighty have fallen!” David warned the people against the telling of the tragedy in Philistia–or else the Philistine maidens would rejoice… just as the Israelite maidens had done singing of the triumphs of David over Saul years before. (1 Samuel 18:7) Even though Saul oppressed the people at times, he also brought them bounty. But it was Jonathan whom David celebrated for all the years of their unbroken friendship… “your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of a women.”
2 Samuel 17- 27 “Then David lamented over Saul and over Jonathan his son… and he told the people to teach the children of Judah this Song of the Bow…
“The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen! Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon–lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. O mountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew nor rain upon you, nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there! The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil, from the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty.
The bow of Jonathan did not turn back, and the sword of Saul did not return empty. Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. “O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet–with luxury, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan was slain in your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan. You have been very pleasant to me; your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women. How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!”