“They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan…because they had died by the sword that day…”
David’s song: “How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan…Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen.”
2 Samuel 1:12, 23, 24
It is not difficult to understand David’s sorrow for Jonathan’s death. After all, they were best friends. But how could David even mourn for Saul, let alone call him beloved or gracious?
David met Saul the same day he met Goliath; and after killing the giant, the king brought David to serve in his courts. However, Saul’s pleasure in young David quickly turned to jealousy, and he then spent most of his life trying to murder David.
No wonder the words in David’s funeral song are shocking. True, Saul was gracious in the past, bringing David into his court and giving his daughter in marriage. But how could David call Saul beloved when he had been running from his hatred for years?
Out of the abundance of the heart, come our words and actions. Fortunately, before David met Saul, he met the Shepherd who loved Saul. In the sheep fields, David learned to trust that Shepherd; and the more he trusted, the more David’s heart became like the Shepherd’s.
Evidently David saw Saul through the Shepherd’s eyes and loved Saul with the Shepherd’s heart. To the Shepherd, ALL sheep are beloved, whether in the fold or in the wilderness.
Shepherd of my soul, please help me see all Your sheep as beloved.