“Lament and Hope”
Pastor David Moore
Theme: this week we will continue to learn from David about how to mourn losses experienced in this life. The term that is used to describe the human’s process for grieving and weeping is lament.
David has much to lament, the many losses that he has and will experience during his lifetime. David mourns his losses in his life, but never loses his sense of God’s love and grace. ~D. Moore
Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 1:1-4, 17-27 (NIV)
After the death of Saul, David returned from defeating the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days. On the third day, a man arrived from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.
“Where have you come from?” David asked him.
He answered, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.”
“What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.”
He said, “The men fled from the battle. Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”
17-27 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the book of Jashar):
“Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights. How the mighty have fallen!
“Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
“O mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, nor fields that yield offerings of grain. For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil. From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
“Saul and Jonathan – in life were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
“O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
“How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother, you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.
“How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!”
Real lament, I think can be done with others, trusted others, but is most after a time between us and God. It is a time to be real, a time to be thankful, a time to trust God’s plan for everyone. ~D. Moore
David laments because he cared. As bad as Saul was, and he was a bad man, David regarded him as God’s anointed, still held him in the respect that his office deserved. And the same time to hear that his great friend Jonathan died, the shock of the two deaths was overwhelming. ~D. Moore
We all experience loss in our lives. David lamented because life matters. During our time of loss in this life, how we live our lives with God during these times will have the potential to shape us, either for detriment or our good. ~D. Moore
Romans 12:2 Mold me, shape me, until I think like you, Lord.
David has great respect for Saul because he was appointed by God. David knows that God had anointed Saul and that was more important than anything Saul tried to do to David. David was seeking to honor God in all that he did. ~D. Moore
David knows God had anointed Saul; what Saul did was not going to save David’s soul. David will be shaped by God, and his actions in life. What God did, what God said, and God’s grace would shape David. ~D. Moore
The struggle with Saul provided conditions to grow, David became a man of God from experience and generosity.
God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggle, and a reward for your faithfulness. Trust Him and don’t give up.
The way we deal with loss enters into the atmosphere that makes people capable of nobility and beauty, learning to lament is a sign of a mature follower of Jesus. We lament in such a way that we are not reduced to lament, but our relationship with God grows deeper. We seek God and find God in our grief. We develop the trust and courage to move forward. We learn gratitude for what we were given.
Jesus in His life laments several times. The most significant time is in John 17 when Jesus prays in the garden. Paul is lamenting when he writes in Romans 8. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It is good to lament, to be forced to remember our dependence on God for all things. It is good to pour our hearts out to God because we know He can handle our anger, our bitterness and our sin in us. ~D. Moore
This week: Pray that Christ will come alongside you during this time of grieving and lamenting, allow Christ to mold you in your weakest moments. May God’s grace be with you as you lament life loss.