‘How the mighty have fallen’ has become a proverb which is sometimes used mockingly when powerful people lose their privileged positions. But when David originally spoke these words there was absolutely no sarcasm or mocking in his heart.
David repeatedly used these words in a lament or a song expressing his grief at the news of the death of Saul. But why was he not glad to see the back of the man who for years had been pursuing him and trying to kill him?
Firstly, in the same battle where Saul had died, his son Jonathan died too. Jonathan had been a very close friend to David. Secondly, Saul had been David’s father-in-law. Thirdly, David’s close relationship with God meant that he had respect for God’s decisions and even after Saul’s death, David spoke of him as ‘the LORD’s anointed’.
The amount of time that passed between David being anointed by Samuel in Bethlehem and the death of Saul was probably about fifteen years. So why did it take so long for David to establish his kingdom? He actually had two opportunities to kill Saul, but on both occasions he refused to harm Saul. Why did David have to wait so long?
The whole story of David is central to the Bible in many ways. Not only is David a physical ancestor of Jesus, but the life of David foreshadows the life of Jesus. The kingdom of David could not be established without David enduring rejection and suffering. Similarly, the kingdom of Jesus could not be established without Jesus enduring rejection and suffering.
David was anointed as king at a young age, but he did not take advantage of this privilege by claiming the throne before God’s appointed time. Similarly, Jesus, although he was … invery nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothingby taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)
Let’s develop the mindset of David and the mindset of Jesus today – not claiming privileges, but valuing others above ourselves and looking to the interests of others.
The story of David: Part 6 Read 1 Samuel 26 to 2 Samuel 1.