2 SAMUEL 1:17-27
And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.) The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: How are the mighty fallen! 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. 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. 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. 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. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. 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. How are the mighty fallen, And the weapons of war perished!
In the first book of Samuel, Samuel is treated as prophet and judge and Israel’s principal figure immediately before the monarchy, and Saul as king. In 2 Samuel, David is presented as king.
Now David as King, instead of celebrating the death of his enemy, he wrote a passionate expression of grief. David also mourns the loss of his friend Johnathon who was the eldest son of King Saul. Johnathon’s fearlessness, fortitude, endurance, and his faithfulness to David make him one of the most admired figures in the Bible. Jonathan is first mentioned in I Sam. 13:2, when he defeated a garrison of Philistines at Geba.
1 Samuel 13:2
Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Beth-el, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.
David remembers both men for their valor and strength in battle, calling them as mighty men who accomplished great things for the nation of Israel.
Written in the book of Jashar, also known as a lost scroll. It was considered a lost book, most likely a collection of Israelite poetry. It is also defined as victorious or upright. It is the victory hymn that describes how the sun and moon stood still when the Israelites defeated the Amorites. Just like today, we all have our victory hymns. Who can forget “Gloria”?
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, Until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So, the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
“Glory” in verse 19 refers to Johnathon and Saul. “How the mighty have fallen” is talking about those that have sacrificed their life for the cause. This is repeated three times to emphasize the importance. We see it again in verses 25 & 27.
David doesn’t want the news of Saul’s death spread or published because he couldn’t bear the Philistines celebrating Saul’s death. It didn’t want the residents of Gath or Ashkelon to hear the news because they were two know areas of the Philistines. Today, we publish the names, or the families do, to honor their sacrifices for us.
The author continues with anger against the Gilboa which is where Johnathon & Saul were slain. Gilboa means boiling springs, bubbling fountains, agitated pools, or water bursting from rock. Gilboa is a mountain range overlooking the Jezreel Valley to the north and the Jordan Valley to south-east and hills to the west.
1 Samuel 31:1
Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
At some point when we lose a loved one, we also are mad at the world or someone or something. Sometimes we even blame it on our Lord.
Today, we say thanks to those that serve, those that are serving, and those that have lost a loved one that was serving. It is only one day a year and truly that is not enough. This needs to happen every day.
We need to say thanks to those that fight to keep our freedom and protect our country. We need to honor them every day. We need to pray for them in our daily prayers. When we know of a family that has lost a loved one to service, we need to reach out.
But wait a minute, shouldn’t we also do for first responders as well. They sacrifice a lot as well and put their lives on the line to save ours.
The list could go on but the one thing that is common between these two groups is that they sacrifice a lot for all of us. As we say thanks today, we must also remember that we have another person that sacrificed for us as well.
We take nothing from our servicemen. The Lord sent us His only son, who lived here sinlessly, to sacrifice His life by dying on the cross to pay the ultimate price for our sins. We need to thank and worship Him as well.
Thanks to those that served, are serving, and for those that lost someone who served, thanks for the sacrifice.