the Second Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Evil shall slay the wicked.”
2 Samuel 1:1-16
2 Samuel 1:10
The probabilities are that this hypocritical fellow had visited the battle-field for the purpose of plundering the dead, soon after the close of the battle. Either he found Saul dead, or else the monarch’s suicidal wound had not yet ended fatally, and the Amalekite finished the deed. His story was told in the hope of winning the thanks of David and a corresponding reward. The crown and bracelet were worth something, but this adventurer hoped to earn a far higher prize by bringing them to the rival leader. He reckoned cunningly; but little did the Amalekite know that he was not dealing with one like himself but with a man of God. Instead of ingratiating himself for life with the new king, he excited David’s indignation, and, being condemned by his own story, he met with a speedy doom.
2 Samuel 1:11 , 2 Samuel 1:12
The man of God felt no joy in his enemy’s death, neither will a gracious heart ever rejoice in the misfortune of others, however cruelly they may have acted.
2 Samuel 1:15
Whether he spake the truth or not, the sentence was just. As there was now no king in the land, David as captain of the host exercised the office of judge and condemned the man out of his own mouth.
2 Samuel 1:16
Thus will all wrong courses sooner or later bring down punishment upon those who enter upon them. The plot looked fair. Who was to discover the falsehood? Were not the plundered ornaments conclusive evidence? David would be sure to ennoble the bearer of such good tidings! The cunning sinner had made one error in his reckoning, and it proved to be a fatal one. Let us take warning and never leave the path of truth. We should abhor every form of deception, for the Lord will not endure liars and will surely overthrow them.
The Lord is wise and wonderful,
As all the ages tell:
O learn of him, learn now of him,
That all he does is well.
And in his light shall we see light,
Nor still in darkness roam,
And he shall be to us a rest,
When evening shadows come.
“Tell it not in Gath.”
2 Samuel 1:17-27
2 Samuel 1:17 , 2 Samuel 1:8
The book of Jasher was probably a collection of national songs and records of heroic acts; it is now lost, for it was not inspired and therefore no special providence preserved its existence. David not only mourned over Saul and Jonathan personally, but he composed an elegy to be sung by the whole nation, and especially by his own tribe. This he entitled “The Bow,” in allusion to the skill in archery for which Jonathan was famous, which is alluded to in the dirge itself David in thus lamenting over the discarded house of Saul, reminds us of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, whose house is left desolate because it knew not its day.
2 Samuel 1:19-27
Dr. Krummacher, in his “David, the King of Israel,” has the following excellent passage, “David did not in his lamentation speak too highly in praise of the King. Was not Saul truly a valiant hero? Did not also that which was gentle and tender oftentimes find an echo in his soul? Did not Jonathan and his other sons show themselves towards him true and faithful children even unto death? All this at that time hovered before the mind of David. With such recollections as these there was associated a deep, sorrowful compassion for the sad fate of the king. And thus it was David’s genuine feeling and sentiment to which he gave full outspoken expression in his lamentation for the dead. These words of the song ’Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon,’ have, since that time, become a proverb in the circles of the faithful. It is frequently heard when one of their community has failed to take heed to his ways, and, therefore, has given rise to a scandal. Would that the call were more faithfully observed than is usually the case! Would that the honour of the spiritual Zion lay always as near to the heart of the children of the kingdom as did that of the earthly to the heart of David! But how often does it happen that they even strive to disclose before the world the weakness of their brethren, and thus, by a repetition of the wickedness of Ham, become traitors to the Church which Christ has purchased with his own blood. They make themselves guilty of bringing dishonour upon the gospel, by opening the gates to such reproach through their talebearing, and to their own great prejudice they disown the charity which ‘believeth all things and hopeth all things.’“