Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3

David Mourns the Death of Saul

II Samuel 1


         Before we get into the text, we should take a step back and go over some of the background info for this book

         I and II Samuel are really just one book in the OT canon of scripture.

         Authorship: Samuel (I Sam. 10:25), until he dies and then some of his trained prophets continued writing (I Chron. 29:29)

         The books are called Samuel because his story comes first, and he was the one who anointed both Saul and David. We have seen Saulís story come to an end, and now we will focus on Davidís.

         II Samuel tells the story of one person, David. It could appropriately be called ''the acts of King David.'' One thousand years after David, the Lord Jesus Christ was born of his seed and lineage. He was David's son and David's Lord. Consequently, we can expect Second Samuel to be full of teaching concerning Christ. So itís not really just a book about David!

         Historical significance- David consolidates power and becomes King, moves the capital to Jerusalem- a very significant point for us even today!

         Prophetic significance- Davidic Covenant. 2Sa 7:14-16. This is one of the mountain peaks of Scripture!

         The rise of the kingdom is a very important subject in both the OT and NT. The first message of the NT was the message of John the Baptist- Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! The kingdom of which he spoke refers back to the kingdom which begins in I and II Samuel.

o   This kingdom has a historical basis

o   This kingdom has an earthly basis with real geographical borders

o   The kingdom has a king

o   The kingdom has a people

         Clearly, the millennial kingdom is foreshadowed as God will someday put His King on the throne of earth! That King is Jesus! All of the promises given to David will be fulfilled in Christ!

         As much as any book of the Old Testament, 2Samuel demonstrates the grace of God. David himself received God's grace time and time again. This is shown markedly in his awful sin, his restoration, and his assurance of God's forgiveness.


I.                    A message from an Amalekite

a.       Remember- King Saul and his three sons were killed in battle against the Philistines, dying on the slopes of Mount Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:1-8). It was the sad end of a tragic life, concluding the story of a man who was blessed to be Israelís first king, and yet he disgraced the throne by dishonoring God.

b.      A man arrives from the Israelite camp with torn clothes and dust on his head

c.       (2Sa 1:5-10) The Amalekiteís story

d.      Some wonder if this Amalekite told the truth. He said he ďmercifullyĒ ended Saulís life after the king mortally wounded himself (1 Samuel 31:4). It is likely that he merely was the first to come upon Saulís dead body and he took the royal crown and bracelet to receive a reward from David. A poor attempt to ingratiate himself with David.

e.      I Samuel 31:5- probably means this man is lying

f.        If we do take the Amalekiteís story as true, this is a chilling statement. In a unique war of judgment, God commanded Saul to completely destroy the people of Amalek (1 Samuel 15:2-3). Saul failed to do this Ė and an Amalekite brought a bitter end to his tragic life.

g.       Amalek is a picture of carnality, and the flesh. Using this picture, we see that Saulís failure to deal with Amalek when God told him to ended in ruin. In the same way, when we fail to deal with the flesh as God prompts us, we can expect that area of the flesh to come back and deliver some deadly strikes.

II.                  Davidís mourning

a.       V. 11-12- David took hold of his own clothes and tore them: When David heard of Saulís death, he mourned. We might have expected celebration at the death of this great enemy and rival, but David mourned.

b.      As much as Saul had wronged David, David chose not to get bitter. It is indeed a choice!

c.       Davidís sorrow was first for Saul, but it was also for his great and close friend Jonathan. More than that, it was for the people of God as a whole, who were in a dangerous and desperate place after the death of the king and the defeat by the Philistines.

d.      The condition of Israel greatly disturbed David, and we as Christians can learn from David here.

                                                               i.      We ought to be grieved and mourn over the unbelief, apostasy, and coldness amongst many so-called Christians today!

                                                             ii.      It can be so easy to observe, and critique the false doctrine in many churches, their flirtations and compromises with the world, and so on- but how often do we just stop and mourn!

                                                            iii.      It can be easy to become proud and haughty like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11. May we not be spiritually blind to our own needs!

                                                           iv.      May we also not be spiritually blind to the real solution- mourning which leads to intercessory prayer!

e.      (2Sa 1:13-16) David executes the Amalekite.

f.        David knew that since God put Saul on the throne, it was Godís job to end his reign Ė and woe to the one who puts forth his hand to destroy a God-appointed leader.

                                                               i.      The Amalekite thought that David was driven by the same passion for power that he has. David asks a piercing question- Why were you not afraid?

                                                             ii.      This answers the question David had been facing in I Samuel 24-26 when he had opportunities to kill Saul. How is the Kingdom to come into Davidís hands? Will he wait for it to come as Godís gift, or will he have to seize it by his own initiative? This is a difficult question! Learning when to go or stop as God leads us. Temptation or opportunity?

                                                            iii.      I will add- some people over the years have abused and overused this principle in applying it to pastors. It is a wicked thing to seek to slander, hurt a godly pastorís ministry. But if a pastor is caught in gross sin that would hinder him from biblically continuing as a leader, the congregation has every right to deal with that man! A pastor is not a king- he is a servant of a local flock.

III.                Davidís lamentation- v. 17-27

a.       Davidís sorrow was sincere and deeply felt. He crafted a song to express the depth of his feeling. ďThe song of the BowĒ

b.      The book of Jashar: This book is also mentioned in Joshua 10:13; it evidently contained a collection of early Hebrew poetry. It is not a ďmissing bookĒ of the Bible, but you could say it is out of print! The canon as God saw fit was completed and did not need to include this ancient writing.

c.       From David Guzik: The beauty of Israel is slain: In this song, David showed the great love and generosity in his heart towards Saul. It showed that David didnít kill Saul with a sword or in his heart.

d.      Davidís response to a national tragedy- not vindictive, but somber.

e.      David was a loyal statesman- he was not glad to see the leadership fail, because he recognized it was a failure for the entire nation

f.        V. 26- He also laments Jonathan. There is not the slightest hint that David and Jonathan expressed their love in a sexual way. They had a deep, godly love for each other Ė but not a sexual love. Our modern age often finds it difficult to believe that love can be deep and real without it having a sexual aspect.

g.       Some say since David did not follow Godís will in marriage so he could not experience the one flesh dynamic and that is why he is able to say this.


         David repeats the phrase that we still use today- How the mighty have fallen! We understand that Saul fell long before this day.

         Iím convinced we do not weep and mourn over our nation as we should. This type of brokenness and intercession is what brings revival!

         John Knox- the preacher who shook up Scotland for God prayed- Give me Scotland, or I die! During the time of the sixteenth-century Scottish Reformation, Knoxís ministry of preaching and prayer were so well known that the Roman Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, is reputed to have said, ďI fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.Ē

         May God shake up the USA in similar fashion in our lifetime!