How the Mighty Have Fallen
Title: How the Mighty Have Fallen
Reading for April 1: 2 Samuel 1-3
"Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!"
2 Samuel 1:19
Most do not know that the phrase, "how the mighty have fallen" comes from the Bible. What might be more surprising is that David taught Israel to sing this song as a lament for one of his greatest enemies, King Saul!
Why does David care about the death of his enemy? It seems that he is concerned about the reputation of Israel. He refers to Saul as Israel's "glory," and in the next verse exclaims: "Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice..." (v 20)
And I would suggest that this is more than mere nationalistic pride at work here. For Israel to be shamed is one and the same as God himself being shamed. Israel represented God to the nations. David's concern for Saul was rooted in his concern for God's reputation (see also 2 Sam 1:16).
If one of our enemies in the church "gets what's coming to them" like Saul, let's be careful. In our excitement over justice being served, we might be rejoicing over something that brings shame and disgrace to God's name among the Gentiles.
Father, give us a similar humility when our enemies fall, especially when our enemies are within your family. Help us to show proper restraint out of respect for your reputation, understanding that an unbelieving world is watching and making judgments about you by looking at all of us.