Oh how the mighty heroes have fallen! Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead.
After the death of Saul in a battle against the Philistines, David returns from his own victory over the Amalekites.
A man who escapes from captivity in Saul’s camp comes to David’s camp with the news of Saul’s death. He is an Amalekite who, as he tells the story, killed Saul who had requested him to put him out of his misery.
David and his men are devastated by the news. David has the Amalekite put to the sword for killing the Lord’s anointed man.
David then composes a song of lament for Saul and Jonathan.
David had been on the run from Saul for years. He had been anointed by Samuel to be the king and was seen by the people as the natural successor to Saul.
It would have been entirely natural for David to delight in the news of Saul’s death.
Yet David mourns the man who had repeatedly tried to kill him. Despite their enmity, David recognises Saul as the Lord’s anointed one and is convinced that it is wrong to go against him.
There is a principle here about our attitudes to fallen leaders, or those with whom we have a disagreement. Regardless of their sins and failings, they are still the Lord’s anointed.
Too many christians derive pleasure from the faliings of leaders. Rather than rejoicing when people fall, we should mourn the fall of someone who was called by the Lord for a role of leadership.
This is not to suggest that pastors are above criticism, disciplinary action or even legal consequences for their actions. But when it happens we should mourn as David mourned.
Father, too many pastors and leaders fall into sin and betray their calling. Help me Lord t mourn when this happens and not to cheer the downfall of another. Amen.