SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
2 Samuel 1:1-2:32
1:1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, he stayed at Ziklag for two days. 2 On the third day a man arrived from the camp of Saul with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. When he approached David, the man threw himself to the ground.
3 David asked him, “Where are you coming from?” He replied, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4 David inquired, “How were things going? Tell me!” He replied, “The people fled from the battle and many of them fell dead. Even Saul and his son Jonathan are dead!” 5 David said to the young man who was telling him this, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6 The young man said, “I just happened to be on Mount Gilboa and came across Saul leaning on his spear for support. The chariots and leaders of the horsemen were in hot pursuit of him. 7 When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me. I answered, ‘Here I am!’ 8 He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I told him, ‘I’m an Amalekite.’ 9 He said to me, ‘Stand over me and finish me off! I’m very dizzy, even though I’m still alive.’ 10 So I stood over him and put him to death, since I knew that he couldn’t live in such a condition. Then I took the crown which was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm. I have brought them here to my lord.”
11 David then grabbed his own clothes and tore them, as did all the men who were with him. 12 They lamented and wept and fasted until evening because Saul, his son Jonathan, the Lord’s army, and the house of Israel had fallen by the sword.
13 David said to the young man who told this to him, “Where are you from?” He replied, “I am an Amalekite, the son of a resident foreigner.” 14 David replied to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to reach out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 Then David called one of the soldiers and said, “Come here and strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. 16 David said to him, “Your blood be on your own head! Your own mouth has testified against you, saying ‘I have put the Lord’s anointed to death.’”
17 Then David chanted this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 (He gave instructions that the people of Judah should be taught “The Bow.” Indeed, it is written down in the Scroll of the Upright One.)
19 “The beauty of Israel lies slain on your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
20 Don’t report it in Gath,
don’t spread the news in the streets of Ashkelon,
or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice,
the daughters of the uncircumcised will celebrate!
21 O mountains of Gilboa,
may there be no dew or rain on you, nor fields of grain offerings!
For it was there that the shield of warriors was defiled;
the shield of Saul lies neglected without oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of warriors,
the bow of Jonathan was not turned away.
The sword of Saul never returned empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were greatly loved during their lives,
and not even in their deaths were they separated.
They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.
24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet as well as jewelry,
who put gold jewelry on your clothes.
25 How the warriors have fallen
in the midst of battle!
Jonathan lies slain on your high places!
26 I grieve over you, my brother Jonathan.
You were very dear to me.
Your love was more special to me than the love of women.
27 How the warriors have fallen!
The weapons of war are destroyed!”
2:1 Afterward David inquired of the Lord, “Should I go up to one of the cities of Judah?” The Lord told him, “Go up.” David asked, “Where should I go?” The Lord replied, “To Hebron.” 2 So David went up, along with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail, formerly the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 David also brought along the men who were with him, each with his family. They settled in the cities of Hebron. 4 The men of Judah came and there they anointed David as king over the people of Judah.
David was told, “The people of Jabesh Gilead are the ones who buried Saul.” 5 So David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh Gilead and told them, “May you be blessed by the Lord because you have shown this kindness to your lord Saul by burying him. 6 Now may the Lord show you true kindness! I also will reward you, because you have done this deed. 7 Now be courageous and prove to be valiant warriors, for your lord Saul is dead. The people of Judah have anointed me as king over them.”
8 Now Abner son of Ner, the general in command of Saul’s army, had taken Saul’s son Ish Bosheth and had brought him to Mahanaim. 9 He appointed him king over Gilead, the Geshurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and all Israel. 10 Ish Bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he began to rule over Israel. He ruled two years. However, the people of Judah followed David. 11 David was king in Hebron over the people of Judah for seven-and-a-half years.
12 Then Abner son of Ner and the servants of Ish Bosheth son of Saul went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 Joab son of Zeruiah and the servants of David also went out and confronted them at the pool of Gibeon. One group stationed themselves on one side of the pool, and the other group on the other side of the pool. 14 Abner said to Joab, “Let the soldiers get up and fight before us.” Joab said, “So be it!”
15 So they got up and crossed over by number: 12 belonging to Benjamin and to Ish Bosheth son of Saul, and 12 from the servants of David. 16 As they grappled with one another, each one stabbed his opponent with his sword and they fell dead together. So that place is called the Field of Flints; it is in Gibeon.
17 Now the battle was very severe that day; Abner and the men of Israel were overcome by David’s soldiers. 18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there—Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. (Now Asahel was as quick on his feet as one of the gazelles in the field.) 19 Asahel chased Abner, without turning to the right or to the left as he followed Abner.
20 Then Abner turned and asked, “Is that you, Asahel?” He replied, “Yes it is!” 21 Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right or to your left. Capture one of the soldiers and take his equipment for yourself!” But Asahel was not willing to turn aside from following him. 22 So Abner spoke again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me! I do not want to strike you to the ground. How then could I show my face in the presence of Joab your brother?” 23 But Asahel refused to turn aside. So Abner struck him in the abdomen with the back end of his spear. The spear came out his back; Asahel collapsed on the spot and died there right before Abner. Everyone who came to the place where Asahel fell dead paused in respect.
24 So Joab and Abishai chased Abner. At sunset they came to the hill of Ammah near Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 The Benjaminites formed their ranks behind Abner and were like a single army, standing at the top of a certain hill.
26 Then Abner called out to Joab, “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize that this will turn bitter in the end? When will you tell the people to turn aside from pursuing their brothers?” 27 Joab replied, “As surely as God lives, if you had not said this, it would have been morning before the people would have abandoned pursuit of their brothers.” 28 Then Joab blew the ram’s horn and all the people stopped in their tracks. They stopped chasing Israel and ceased fighting. 29 Abner and his men went through the rift valley all that night. They crossed the Jordan River and went through the whole region of Bitron and came to Mahanaim.
30 Now Joab returned from chasing Abner and assembled all the people. Nineteen of David’s soldiers were missing, in addition to Asahel. 31 But David’s soldiers had slaughtered the Benjaminites and Abner’s men—in all, 360 men had died! 32 They took Asahel’s body and buried him in his father’s tomb at Bethlehem. Joab and his men then traveled all that night and reached Hebron by dawn.