“Saul and Jonathan! So well loved, so dearly cherished!
In their lives and in their deaths they were never separated.
They were faster than eagles,
stronger than lions!” ~David, 1 Samuel 1:23
“Um, excuse me, David, but Saul was your number one enemy, your worst nightmare, and because of his abuse, you wasted more than a decade of your life hiding from him and running from death. What’s all this you sing about Saul as being dearly loved and adored?” I ask.
David was modeling the kind of forgiveness Jesus would teach centuries later. Jesus instructed us to love our enemies and to pray for those who abuse and use us.
Jonathan, Saul’s eldest son, was David’s bosom friend, closer than a brother. But Jonathan’s father was just the opposite. As David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan who lost their lives in battle the same day, he was able to honor the memory of his enemy, along with his friend. He didn’t let the facts get in the way of the greater Truth of the matter which is: love trumps hate. Forgiveness trumps abuse.
Teach me to forgive my enemies, to embrace what is good and healthy and strong about their character. To speak well of them, and to allow You, the Great Judge, to take care of the rest.
In Jesus’ Name I pray this, believing that You alone can change my heart. Amen.