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May 15, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: 2 Chronicles 18-20
Audio: 2 Chronicles 18-20

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

2 Samuel 1 (ESV)

After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” And the young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and behold, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ And he said to me, ‘Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ 10 So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13 And David said to the young man who told him, “Where do you come from?” And he answered, “I am the son of a sojourner, an Amalekite.” 14 David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord‘s anointed?” 15 Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” And he struck him down so that he died.16 And David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord‘s anointed.’”

17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son,18 and he said it should be taught to the people of Judah; behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar. He said:

19 “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!
    How the mighty have fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath,
    publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

21 “You mountains of Gilboa,
    let there be no dew or rain upon you,
    nor fields of offerings!
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
    the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

22 “From the blood of the slain,
    from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan turned not back,
    and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

23 “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
    In life and in death they were not divided;
they were swifter than eagles;
    they were stronger than lions.

24 “You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
    who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet,
    who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

25 “How the mighty have fallen
    in the midst of the battle!

“Jonathan lies slain on your high places.
26     I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
very pleasant have you been to me;
    your love to me was extraordinary,
    surpassing the love of women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen,
    and the weapons of war perished!”

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Next: 2 Samuel 2

Back: 1 Samuel 31

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. David's Lament

    We all know what it's like to lose a loved one. When it's with a best friend who you share a great history with, and a closeness, the loss is even more devastating. 

    David, in this opening chapter of 2 Samuel grieves not only for Jonathan but for Saul – despite all the horrible things Saul had done to David. In death, it's common to show grace even towards those who may have been our enemies. But David showed grace to Saul while he was living by not taking his life when the opportunity arose (twice). 

    The lament ends with a familiar phrase still used today – "How the mighty have fallen" (2 Samuel 1:27). 

  2. David takes no pleasure in the death of Saul, even though Saul has been determined to kill him. His grace toward and forgiveness of Saul reminds me of the grace and forgiveness God has shown me. 

    David has not only forgiven Saul, but even praises him in song! 

    Do you find it difficult to forgive those who have harmed you? Look to Jesus. 

    “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

    Is it any wonder God will not forgive us if we don’t forgive others? 

    “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:14-15

    Later in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable about an unforgiving servant to provide a warning to those who don’t forgive as God has forgiven them (see Matthew 18:21-35).

    May we be humbled by what God did to secure our forgiveness when we were unable to pay our sin debt, and while we were His enemies! And may our humility then be reflected in the grace and forgiveness we freely bestow on others every day…even if they want us dead.

    1. Wonderful reminders, Michelle. 

      I have seen your godly example of this many times over the years. I'm grateful God has allowed me to see (and experience) this in my life through you. 

      Thank you, my love!

  3. I love your comment, Michelle! 

    I have been struggling with resentment. I find it very difficult to forgive completely one particular person who, along with another person who was once very important my life, betrayed me. I found out because the latter confessed to me. The first person, however, never would have told me, and was even planning to take this betrayal as far as they possibly could. 

    I've heard people say, "I'm just not ready to forgive them yet," and it always confused me a bit. 

    There's a time when you will or might be ready, but not yet? I always found it easy to "forgive" people, until I realized that forgiving was not what I was doing. I was trying to forget, just let it go, because I wanted that person to be back in my life, without conflict, because that was so much easier. I never dealt with any of the emotions I had about people hurting me; I just wanted to start over with a clean slate and "poof!" – no more problem. 

    Those were in the days that I never knew my true self – what I believed, what I stood for, who I really WAS – because I numbed everything with drugs and alcohol. I just wanted to overlook the wrongs so we could get on with the partying. 

    Then I got clean. And I was saved. The fog lifted and I learned so much about myself. The most important thing I learned is that I am not the most important being. God is. It is not all about me. And I found myself wanting HIS will. 

    However, I soon struggled with resentment and forgiveness, because I had a new-found respect for myself, and I knew that if these friends really loved me, they would never do such a thing. It made me so angry that I wanted to cut them out of my life completely. 

    I considered talking to them about it and letting them know how I felt, although I knew it would fall on deaf ears, because they both still live in the fog. 

    Michelle, your comment is an awesome reminder of WHY I need to forgive these people, truly forgive them and let the resentment go, out of my heart. It's really the answer I've been looking for. It's not important that they know how I feel;  what's important is that I follow God's lead and obey Him.

    In going to pray about it right now. Thanks so much! 

    1. I’m so grateful to God for speaking to you through my comment, Brynne. This is that thing we talked about at church! God blesses us when we serve Him. And yet we serve Him only because we love Him…and for no other reason. 

      Your encouragement Sunday brought about this gift to you! ❤️ 

      When I’ve been hurt by betrayal, I remember Jesus asking His Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him (Luke 23:34). I want to honor Him, and to  be as much like Him as I’m able, and to follow Him “even to death” (Matthew 16:24-26), if that’s what following Him costs me. But I can only do that when I love Him more than I love even myself (because I have to “die to self”), and the only way I’m willing to do that is to remember His love for me on the cross. I literally have to preach the gospel to myself over and over and over again. 

      Forgiving does not mean letting toxic or abusive people back into your life, though. Forgiveness does not mean we allow people to abuse us again. 

      Knowing that, perhaps after you’ve forgiven them, someday you might have opportunity to let these people know how their betrayal hurt you, opening the door to share the gospel as you express forgiveness and grace — the grace of God toward you, and now yours toward them. But I don’t know. That’s between you and God. He will give you wisdom and discernment if you ask Him for it (James 1:5). And if that day does come, and you do speak to them, don’t expect anything at all in return. Rather, expect defensiveness or ridicule. People who know the story of the cross today reject Jesus and mock and ridicule Him — and we’re not Jesus! How much more should we expect and even anticipate being mocked and ridiculed ourselves by those who do not have His Spirit? 

      I’m praying for you, that you will soon experience that wonderful freedom that comes when we forgive with the grace of God as the vehicle. 

      Love you so much! 

  4. I prayed right away about this, and I asked God to help me forgive and to let go of that resentment in my heart. It brough me to tears, because I knew how long I'd been holding onto it, and I was ready to be free of it. I had been wasting time and space in my heart by giving into those negative feelings, and I thought about how I didn't want it to hold me back from becoming more like Jesus. I even said it out loud: "I forgive you both."

    What an amazing thing to let that darkness go. Only one of those people is still in my life, but with the boundaries God has helped me to set, and our relationship is very different now. 

    The changes that are taking place in my life because Love and Light Christian Church has helped me to really and truly find and receive Jesus are nothing short of miracles. I am living my best life, and that was only possible with Him. 

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