17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):
19 “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
How the mighty have fallen!
20 “Tell it not in Gath,
proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
21 “Mountains of Gilboa,
may you have neither dew nor rain,
may no showers fall on your terraced fields.[b]
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.
22 “From the blood of the slain,
from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied. 23 Saul and Jonathan—
in life they were loved and admired,
and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.
24 “Daughters of Israel,
weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle!
Jonathan lies slain on your heights. 26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
more wonderful than that of women.
27 “How the mighty have fallen!
The weapons of war have perished!”
We don’t often talk about lament. Many of us, when it comes to grief, prefer to put on a brave face rather than pour out a passionate expression of grief like David does here.
Lament is not a common word in our churches today, though it is a language woven throughout Scripture, I mean there’s a whole book called Lamentations! A lament is a passionate expression of our pain that God meets us in. It’s real talk with God about the ways we are hurting. It’s an honest prayer to God about where we are, not where we are pretending to be.
Strong’s Hebrew concordance says that the word lament has the same root word as “to mourn” and “to wail.” Lament doesn’t have to be a formal, structured prayer. Lament is about our most honest expression of pain.
God meets us there, in our place of pain and grief.
If you feel in a place of lament and grief in your life at the moment can I encourage you to, like David, express it passionately before God. There is no failure in your Christian life to feel and express such grief.