2 Samuel 1:17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:

18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)

19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!

20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been 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 were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.

25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.

26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

Introductory Thoughts

In Bible times, the mourning process often included a time of lamentation. Although lamentations were diverse, scripture points to a time set aside for speaking about the deceased. Today’s passage shows that David lamented the passing of Saul and Jonathan. He spoke positively about their efforts in battle (2 Samuel 1:25), their usefulness to Israel (2 Samuel 1:24), and their beauty (2 Samuel 1:23). Apparently, part of the healing process includes speaking of those who have departed. Perhaps it would lead to rejoicing in the good memories and crying at the mention of sad times. Regardless, it is clear that talking about the deceased helps those still alive in a time of mourning.

Devotional thoughts

  • (For children): The Bible records that Josiah was the last king of Judah who truly wanted to follow God. He rid the land of idolatry, cleansed and repaired God’s house, read the book of the law to the people, and wept over sins. When Josiah died in battle, Jeremiah the prophet and the people lamented over him (2 Chronicles 35:24-25).
  • (For everyone): How could it be helpful to talk about loved ones who have departed? How could it be harmful to refuse to speak of those who have gone on before us?
  • How do you handle the passing of loved ones? Do you try to get through the hurt without speaking of those who have died? Have you found this to be helpful?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you properly deal with the loss of loved ones.
  • Ask God to help you minister to others as they deal with death.