Sunday, July 15, 2012

NOT Being like David: The Woman in the Window (Sidetrack:The story of Michal)

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12-23
So I wanted to preach about rejoicing and worship today. I wanted to preach a joyous message about how important, great, wonderful it is to be able to just rejoice in the presence of God, about the place of worship in our lives and in the Church, which I am sure would have said good Biblical things about worship and rejoicing. But. . . then I got distracted by the woman in the window. Briefly I toyed with seeing the problem here as the difficulty which arises when two different people see worship differently and then talk a little about how it is ok for some people to be more exuberant in their worship and for others to b be more reserved; placing Michal in the position of one who is a bit more reserved and David as one who is a bit more exuberant (to put it mildly), and then discuss how none of us should look down on or “despise” others, who are legitimately worshiping God, for the way they are worshiping God. And, although that is an important lesson to learn as the people of God; that really is not what is going on in this passage. So in our series about David, we are taking a little sidetrack to look at this woman in the window. Look at her story, her relationship with David, and the role she is playing in the events of David’s life. The passage we have here this morning just a much marks the beginning of a new era in the life of Israel and a new era of the center of all religious and political power being placed in Jerusalem, the city which David conquered that was neither a part of Judah or Israel but was neutral ground from which he could rule the whole kingdom without showing favor to either side, as it also marks the end of the story about Michal and David. In our focus on David and his ascent to kingship we have left out many threads in David’s story. One of those threads is his relationship with Michal. The story of David and Michal begins the day he slew Goliath on the fields of Ephes-Damim. Among other things, Saul had promised his firstborn daughter to the one who was able to slay Goliath. So after the defeat of the Philistines following the death of Goliath, Saul begins the process of acquiring Merab for David as his wife. There is only one minor little problem in this plan. Merab is already married to Adriel the Meholathite. Luckily Saul had two daughters the younger of which was named Michal who had seen David and loved him. The scriptures tell us that this pleased Saul. At this point he was not so keen on David or on the idea of David being his son-in-law, perhaps thinking that having the nations’ new favorite warrior and the one Samuel had already anointed as king, as his son-in-law and thus possibly having claim to throne, was perhaps not such a great idea. So Saul saw that he could use Michal’s love as a way to entrap David. So he offered Michal to David as his wife. When David inquired about the bride price pointing out that he and his family were not very well off and did not have what would be appropriate to offer a king as a bride price for his daughter, King Saul shrewdly thinking that by asking something absurd from David, he was either be sending David to his death or giving himself a good reason pull out of his promise to marry David to his daughter, due to failure to pay the bride price, so her told David that he would not ask for much, just the foreskins of 100 Philistines. But to everyone’s surprise and perhaps even a little horror and dismay, David does this and wins Michal as his wife. Marrying Michal moves David into the King’s household, placing him dangerously close to Saul when Saul’s moods turn him against David. On one such occasion after David had helped defeat the Philistines, yet again, while David sat in the court playing his harp for Saul, Saul threw a spear at David in an attempt to kill him, but David moved out of the way and the spear hit the wall instead. Michal fearing for David’s life talked him into escaping the Palace so that Saul would not attempt to kill him again the next day and that next time actually succeed in doing so. So she while he was in her room that night, she helped him escape through her window and on this occasion Michal watches out the window as the husband she loves runs away into the night. She then takes and idol (what was an idol doing in her room anyway?) and dressed it up to look like David and put it in the bed so people would believe that it was David. She lied to the men who came looking for him and lied to her father in an attempt to save David’s life. She is mentioned again in 1 Samuel when David takes Abigail and Ahinoam as wives, the explanation being that when David had fled Saul had given Michal to Paltiel, son of Laish from Gallim as his wife. She is not mentioned again until after the death of Saulwhen David insists upon having Michal brought back to him at the expense of her new husband who apparently cares enough for her to follow after the men who are taking her weeping. So here is a brief summary of her life prior to the events in this passage, as depicted in scripture. She was offered to David as a prize, used as was way to entrap him, forgotten, given to another man in marriage, and then torn unwillingly from that marriage by Abner who a member of King’s Saul’s court using her retrieval as way win David’s favor. Here in this passage she is again standing in a window watching her husband, this he is dancing (how shall we say this?) wearing an insufficient amount of clothing. As she looks back at their relationship and watches him now she can’t help despise David. Despise, a pretty harsh word, considering she entered the story because she loved David.When David returns from his revelries she speaks somewhat harshly and with no small amount of sarcasm to him about exposing himself to God, the virgins and everyone. David responds to her in kind, and thus, apparently, ends their romantic relationship, because Michal remained childless to the end of her life. Most people like to make Michal out to be in the wrong in this story. David is worshipping and praising God and Michal is getting upset about that? What right does she have to dictate to her husband how he should worship? She must be angry that he usurped her father’s throne, she must be insecure because these woman are witnessing a little more of David’s glory than she would like. She sees David worshipping half-dressed publically and she is not embarrassed by him, she is not ashamed of him, no she despises him. What has brought Michal to this point where this incident would cause her to despise him? Why would she go from loving him to despising him, from saving him to being distant from him until her death? This is a woman who became a piece in the rise to power. This was a woman who brought power and prestige just by being married to her. This is a woman who offered herself to another, did all she could to protect him and ended forgotten, as the spoils of war and left alone and then set aside as the one she loved pursues better things. She loved David but as most women of her was treated as an object, as a thing that could win favor with Saul, gain access to Saul’s household, and his court, something that helped him escape then be forgotten until her presence could help him again; until he could use her as part of the booty needed for another man to win his favor. When she is remembered she becomes not a wife, but a part of a harem in a polygamous marriage. By the time David brings her back into his household, he does not simply have the two wives, Abigail and Ahinoam, but he has five other wives, making Michal the sixth. Now the way that polygamy worked was that the first was the most important wife, the only one who would have gotten the title “queen”, the first among six. But still in a marriage that involves six women, although you maybe first you are still one among six. And as such she is the oldest, the forgotten prize wife from David’s past affairs with Saul. On the day that the Ark of the Covenant is brought into Jerusalem, she is alone in her room, forgotten once again, on the outside of the festivities. Of course she is angry, and now to add insult to injury she sees that not only is David celebrating, but he is doing so in a less than clothed fashion. And she realizes that she means nothing to him. It is one thing for him to reject her love by not waiting for her and taking another wife, but five other wives? And now he does not care to whom he exposes himself, even if he is worshiping God it is not befitting a king to go about in this manner and it hurts her. She loved him and she was just a piece of the puzzle that was his life. So she looked down on David and despised him, despised him for not loving her, despised him for forgetting her, for replacing her, for not caring about her or her feelings. It would be easy to say; well of course he treated her that way, that is the way women were treated at that time in history. I know that was a different time and a different place. People thought of women differently. I know it has only be in the very recent history that woman have enjoyed the kinds of freedoms and respect we enjoy now. I know and understand that as one of two daughters of a king she had only one option in marriage, and that is to marry the man her father felt would win him the political alliances he needed. She was his property to give for a bride price to the man he choose. She got lucky; she loved the man her father gave her to. It is not David’s fault that when she helps David flee for his life; her father then uses her to make some political alliance with Paltiel. David might not have known about Paltiel’s apparent love for her when he brought his wife back into his household. He might not have even considered the marriage to Paltiel legitimate and saw himself as retrieving his wife from a man who took her from him. I know that women were not seen as human beings but as pieces, as pawns, as property. But God did give women rights in a marriage as part of God’s instructions in the Torah. A wife had a right to food; a right to clothing, a right to be able to take care of her children. And it was a woman’s right to not have the ability to bear children denied to her. The passage is very delicate about this but the writer is careful to say that Micah had no child until her death, it does not say that she was barren, just that she did not bear any children. It is one thing to declare a woman barren and therefore remained childless, it is another for her simply to not bear children. The implication is that David chose not to do right by her. David denied her one of four rights she had a wife and therefore she remained childless. David did not do right by his wife. David was a good man. He was man of God. He was following God’s guidance in his life. He was a wise leader, a great warrior and a pious follower of God. But in all this he lost sight of individuals in his life. He forgot that Michal was a human being, a person who loved him, and risked her life for him. David forgot that she had feelings and needs and concerns. It is easy when we are doing the work of the Lord, when we are listening to God, doing the things that God told us to do to loose site of the living breathing people in our lives. It is easy sometimes to forget that every person matters, has worth and value. That each person we encounter has thoughts, feelings, and dreams and that they are not means to an ends. Not just another piece in the plans that God has for us.We are living our story, living our relationship with God but we are a part of other people’s stories and even when we are doing our best for God, even when we are rejoicing in the presence of God, glorying in how God has guided us and shown us our way, we cannot forget the people in our life, the individuals who are not merely a part of God’s plan for us, and our life, but that we are a part of their life, a part of the plans that God is working out for them. Are we working with them, encouraging them, helping them as they are accomplishing the things that God is calling for them to be, to do? In our quest for God’s best, for God’s plan, for being the people we are called to be, we cannot in our neglect, in our forgetfulness deny those around us, those with whom our life intersects the right for God’s best in their lives, to be the people God is calling them to be. It is possible to see the things that David did as not havingbeen done to purposefully harm Michal. He probably never meant her harm, but in his neglect, in his forgetfulness, he denied her the very things that God commanded to not be denied her. He in his benign oversight of her as are very real person in his life, in his forgetfulness of her love and loyalty, in his neglect to put her first, he denied her the ability to have God’s best in her life. Without his love, without his care, without being cherished and taken care of by her husband, she could not have the very things that would have won her respect and honor in her society. God did not desire for her to be alone, abandoned, over looked and forgotten 'til the end of her days. David perhaps through no malicious or purposeful intent denied her these very things. As Christians, attempting to be the people God is calling us to be, as people of God striving to love God and our world, we cannot forget to love the people in our lives; to treat all the people in our lives as if they are the precious people they are. No one is just another person; each person is a person God loves. Each one is a person God has a plan for. Each person is one of the people we are called to love when God calls us to love God and to love our world. Our world means the people in our world, the individuals, each one precious, each one to be respected, each one to not be forgotten, overlooked, or left alone, each one loved.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Being Like David: Being with God

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10 And here we come to the end of this movie we have been “watching” for the last six week, and the crown is finally on the head of the king. This event, toward which David has been working since he was a young lad, has been achieved. It was just about twenty years ago that Samuel came traipsing into town claiming to be making sacrifices, but secretly looking for the man God wanted him to anoint as Israel’s next king an instead of anointing a man he had anointed a shepherd boy just come in from the fields. Since that day, David has killed a giant, married the old king’s daughter, declared everlasting friendship with his son, lead the armies of Israel into battle and generally won the acclamation, and respect of everyone. Last week I said, “Women swoon at the sight of him, fathers want him to wed their daughter’s, boys play act at being him and men try to emulate him,” and it’s the truth. David is the man. So much so that after the death of Saul, David has to do nothing to get himself appointed king. The people are clamoring to have him as their next king. David gets appointed king because he is a pretty awesome guy. The people came together and saw that David was the best choice for king. In many ways they come together to confirm God’s choice. They wanted a king who could lead them in battle; David has proved he can do this. They need a king who will be just and fair, and David has proved that he is this as well. They need a king who listens to and follows God, David has shown that this is his way of life. Look, isn’t it amazing, God choose well! This is the high point toward which David has been moving almost all his life. Here he is, he is being crowned king of Israel and suddenly all the many nights, and months of nights he spent hiding in a cave or sleeping in a tent, running for his life, fade into the back ground. Triumphant music plays and flashes of memories from that day when he was summoned in from the fields with the sheep to be anointed as king by Samuel are inter-mingled with the coronation events. He was the shepherd of sheep and now he is the shepherd of God’s people. By the music we, his audience know that he is to be a great king and the way the light play around his face, his crown his shoulders, we can see that the presence of God almighty is upon him, it is God who has brought him from the sheep fields to this place today. The journey has been long, circuitous and has had its’ fair amount of trials along the way, but the fact of the matter is that God has been with David the whole time. The scripture tells us that the Spirit of God came upon David on that day so long ago when Samuel anointed him king and God has been with him ever since. God has been with David and David has walked with God. This journey has not been a journey of chance or happenstance this has been a guided tour; a guided tour of a life that leads to greatness, a king who is honored and respected by all, of one who walks with God. I was thirteen when God called me into the ministry. I was young and immature. I was one of those thirteen year old girls who cried if you looked at me slantways. But I loved God and I was stubborn. If God wanted me to be a pastor, than woe be it to the person who choose to stand in my way. Isn’t great how God uses even our most unattractive traits to accomplish God’s will. It was during an evening service, one of the first ones our new youth pastor preached. I don’t know what Pastor Rick preached about that evening. I just know that I knew that God needed to speak to me, so after church I went forward to pray and God told me in no uncertain terms that I was called to pastoral ministry. From that day forward I told anyone and everyone who would listen that God had called me to pastor. I finished up High School knowing I would attend a Nazarene College and study religion, so that I would be best prepared to attend Nazarene Theological Seminary, so I could then be a pastor. I asked for and received my local ministers’ license when I was still in my freshman year at Eastern Nazarene College. I spent a summer working with the youth group at The Lamb’s Manhattan Church of the Nazarene and another summer with the youth group at Hollywood Church of the Nazarene in Hollywood, Maryland outside of DC. I applied for and received my district ministry license while I was finishing up my senior year at ENC. I went to NTS and received my Masters of Divinity, married Mike the January of my last year there and we got our first pastoring job in Mulvane, Kansas, which we started within weeks of graduation. After two years of ministering in Kansas, General Superintendent, Talmadge Johnson, District Superintendent Ed Nash and the minsters of the Kansas District laid hands upon me as I was ordained elder in the church of the Nazarene. My ordination day is one of the most important events in my life, up there with my wedding and the births of my two girls. I think the sanctuary of Wichita First church of the Nazarene will always be an especially holy place for me. I remember sitting there with Dr. Johnson’s hands on my head thinking, this is it, this is the day toward which I have been moving since I was still really a very young girl. This is the arriving point. This is where I have always wanted to be, this is the moment, God has been leading me here my whole life, I have arrived. And then after the GS prayed and my father prayed and the ordained elders of the Kansas District prayed and I stood up I looked out across the delegation from the KS district who had gathered that day and my life went on. Everything had been building to that one moment and just as all moments that had come before, it was gone. Moment was followed by moment just as always. I had arrived at the point toward which I had oriented my whole life and life just went on. For 15 years, God has been with me, guided me, directed me, had been with me when I had made poor choices, had been my strength and support in the rough times. God had brought me to this point. Everything I had ever worked toward had brought me to this moment in my life and then that moment was gone. Life moved on, I had to go on from there. Here David was, he had come to the point in his life, toward which he had been moving since he was still a boy. Everything in his life had prepared him for this moment. He bows his head the crown of kingship is placed upon it, he rises and he looks out across the crowd of people who are now his subjects and he had to realize the same two things I realized when I stood before the delegates of the 2004 Kansas District Assembly, that first of all God had brought me to this place and secondly I was not going to continue to make it unless I continued to walk with God and God was with me from this moment forward. David knew, God was there with him in the field of anointing. God was with him when he slew the giant. God was with him as he played songs for Saul in his courts. God was with him when he befriended Jonathan. God was with him as he led armies into victory. God was with him as Saul chased him across the countryside attempting to kill him. God was with him when he heard of the death of Saul. It is God who brought him to his coronation. It is because of God that he had arrived and if any of this was going to work out God needed to continue to be with him, in all things, all of his days. And God is with David throughout his reign. “David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.” David’s greatness, David’s success is due to one thing and one thing only, that God was with him in all that he did. He walked with God and God walked with him. It is easy for us to come to believe that there is a point at which we have arrived, at which we have or will have accomplished that which God has before us; that our walks with God are finally complete; that we have arrived, when it comes to us and God. We want there to be an end game, a goal toward which we are moving, something that once it is gained we have what we need. Let me tell you a story, about a man who lived on one side of a mountain and had spent his whole life wondering what was on the other side of the mountain, he talked about how he would one day climb the mountain and see what there was to see, that he would see the glory of the land that the mountain kept hid from his eye. When he as young and told the other villagers about this they chuckled and said it was a young man’s dream. He married a beautiful young woman from the village and he would tell her about how one day when he had the time, the money the inclination he was going to climb the mountain and see the mystery it hid from his eyes. She would smile and say, “Go then, climb your mountain, and then return to tell me what it is you see there.” He would nod and say, “Someday.” Seasons passed and she bore him little boys and little girls and in the evenings, when all the chores were done, he would gather them on his lap and tell them about how one day, he was going to climb that mountain and bring back the treasures he found on the other side to give to them. But the children grew and had households of their own. And as he aged he would go and talk to the other old men about his dream and they chuckled because they knew that he would never go. Then one day, his wife died and he realized that his life was soon to come to an end, so he sold everything he owned packed up all he had left and journeyed to the top of the mountain. He journeyed one night and one day, stopping frequently because his old legs wearied easily. When he reached the top and looked down at the world, he saw that there was another mountain and beyond that another mountain, that beyond his mountain was a whole world that he was too old to explore. So he went back down the mountain disappointed that he had spent his life not in the shadow of just one mountain but in the shadow a world of mountains. He had lived his whole life believing that when he reached the top of the mountain he would have arrived, but the top of the mountain proved to be just a gateway to an entire world. We really cannot live our lives believing there is a point at which we have arrived. When we have arrived, when we stand at the top of that mountain we will then see that there is beyond this point a whole life yet to be lived. And we have to live our whole lives with God, not just up to a point, not just aiming for a stopping point, but a whole life in relationship with God, a whole life lived differently, a whole life given over to loving God and loving one another. David did not abandon God once God had brought him to the place of kingship. But he became greater and greater because God was with him. God was with him from the time he was but still a young lad; through all the years that led up to his kingship and then God continued to be with him all the years of his life. He became greater and greater because on the day of his coronation he realized two things. God had been with him all along the journey that had brought him to this place and if he was going to continue to prosper and flourish he needed to realize that he had not arrived at a stopping point, at his destination with God, but that this was just another whey point on a greater journey that must be continually traveled with God. God must continue to be with him all the days of his life. The kingship did not mark the moment of his arrival, the moment when he had received all he needed to receive, the moment when he no longer needed God because he had it all, but this was the moment that would now lead to all the moments that are to come and if God has brought him to this place here, then the only way he would ever be able to go on is if God continues to be with him in all things from this moment on. There is no point at which we have arrived. There is no point toward which our spiritual journeys are moving that once gained we can count ourselves as having arrived. We are always moving, always walking, always journeying with God. Every moment, every stopping point, every mountaintop to which God brings us, is a moment that leads to all the next, is yet another stopping point along the journey, is the mountaintop that reveals to us the mountains we have yet to climb. Being with God is not something that culminates, it is not something that has an arriving point, there is no place along this journey that is our ultimate goal. The goal is the journey, the goal is the relationship, the goal is to be with God and for God to be with us all the days our lives. A life lived differently, a life lived with God.

Being Like David: Honoring Life

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-26 As our movie about the making of King David continues, we follow David to the next stop in his life, the death of Saul. We have come a long way in the life of David since he left Goliath dead in the fields of Ephes-Damim last week. Last week, he was just a boy with a promise that someday he will be king, some stones, a sling and God on his side. This week his is a man lamenting the death of his enemy. After David killed Goliath, Saul gave Michal, one of his daughters to him as a wife and David became a member of the royal household and the royal court. David was Saul’s champion, the mighty warrior of Israel, the go to man when it came to getting battles won and foes defeated. David is not only Saul’s son-in-law but he is Saul’s son Jonathan’s best friend. David has managed to ingratiate himself everyone. Women swoon at the sight of him him, father’s want him to wed their daughter’s, boys play act at being him and men try to emulate him, But it is only a matter of time before Saul goes from being absolutely thrilled with David to jealous of his fame and popularity, and then his jealously turns to homicidal thoughts and actions and begins a long campaign during which he attempts to kill David. David on the other hand has several opportunities to kill Saul and decidedly chooses not to, making a point to let Saul know that although Saul means David harm at every opportunity, David is not working in like manner to end Saul’s life. In fact David says on more than one occasion that it is not his place to bring an end to Saul’s life. No matter how many times or how many ways Saul attempts to kill David, David refuses to respond in kind. He might work against Saul, he might in Sung Tzuesk fashion declare the enemy of his enemy his friend and go fight alongside the Philistines. But he would not work to directly bring about the death of Saul. In fact he does not fight in any battles in which the Philistines attack Saul’s forces. David spends years in hiding, fearing for his life, living in caves; doing whatever needs to be done to keep himself alive. All the while Saul is working to bring an end to him. No matter what he does, no matter how hard he works, to prove to Saul that he is not only not Saul’s enemy, but he is not a threat to him in in way shape or form, Saul continues in his full attack against the life of David. Just prior to the passage we have before us this morning, Saul and Jonathan are killed during a battle. Jonathan is his best friend, so of course he is pretty broken up to hear of the death of his good friend. David writing, singing and requiring all the men of Israel to learn a lament about the death of Jonathan is not too surprising. But, considering the history David has with Saul, one would think that, upon hearing about Saul’s death, David would be rejoicing. I mean, seriously come on, how many times has Saul tried to kill David? And now he is dead. All David’s cares and woes are gone. He can walk opening in the daylight once again without worry or fear. I would think that David would have a parade, throw a party, write a song of rejoicing and victory, but instead David writes a dirge, a song of mourning. Instead of a victory shout, David lets out a wail, a sigh, a lament. One would think that he would want the death of his enemy proclaimed from the mountain tops, proclaimed in any and every way possible. Let Saul’s enemies know that Saul is no more that he is finally gone, rejoice with me oh enemies of my enemy let us sing for joy together. No David, declares that this information should be kept from Saul’s enemies, not only is David not rejoicing but David does not want Saul’s enemies to have the ability to rejoice either. This is not a day of victory this is a day of sorrow and torment. Everyone should be in mourning. This is a day of regret and great sorrow. Mighty men have fallen and we should lament their falling. Now that is an incredible response to the death of the man who has spent the last several decades trying to kill you. From the time of the death of Goliath, until this day, David has time and time again showed that he is a man of integrity and honor; a man, who when given the choice, will choose the high road. Here is a man of honor if I ever saw one. David knows that God has appointed him to be the king after Saul. The throne is his rightful place. Most of us knowing where it is that God is leading us, might be tempted to do all that is in our power to hurry things along, especially if it would ensure our safety and put us in place in where would could breathe a little freer and get us where we want to be a little faster. But David does nothing to force God’s hand. He does nothing to bring harm to Saul. And now when Saul is dead and not only is the path to kingship now open to him, but he no longer has to live in fear of what will come next, David writes a lament over Saul. Mourning is something with which we often have a hard time in our culture. We have our rituals. We have the viewing or wake, we have the funeral and the dinner to follow. But we pretty much expect people to move on from there. It is ok to be sad for a little while, but pretty soon after the death of someone we expect them to go on with their life, no matter what your relationship is to that person, we don’t really understand why someone would continue to struggle with dealing with another’s death, months, years, decades later. It is almost as if we expect people to just get over the fact that someone they loved dearly is gone and there is no getting that person back. There is no righting in any wrongs, real or perceived, there is no saying that one thing you always wanted to say, that shoulder to cry on is gone, that person’s strength in our lives is no longer with us and we can no longer go to that person for advice. They are gone from us and we miss them. Especially as Christians we want to down play the affect death has on us. Yes, we have hope in a reality beyond death; in a life eternal. But that does not negate the reality and seeming finality that death has here in this life, on this earth. In this broken world, we live and we die. This is the way of things. And no amount of hope for the future, can change the reality of the pain that death causes in our lives. Heaven brings us glorious hope, but we mourn now, we hurt now, we miss our loved ones here today in this place. One of the most real things I think someone has ever said to me about the death of a loved one, was spoken by a 90 some odd year old lady I had the privilege to Pastor when I was in Kansas, she turned to me one day and said, pastor, it has been 40 years, but I still reach for the phone and attempt to call my mother. I miss talking to her so badly. 40 years! She was not “unhealthy” she was not crazy. She missed her mother and that is the honest truth. Death is final. Death is real. Death changes our lives and in very real ways who we are forever. David I not only mourning for someone he loved, but he is mourning for someone who in a very real and literal way, wanted him dead. It takes a lot to lament the death of your enemy. It takes a lot to see harm for another human being, no matter how good it may be for you and your situation in life, as a tragedy. The death of a human being no matter how convenient is a cause for rejoicing. Death is always a cause for mourning. Death is always a tragedy, whether it be that of a still born infant or a person who has lived a long, full life; whether they be the president of the United States, a famous actor or a heroin addict; our mother, our father, our dearest friend or our worst enemy. Everyone’s death is to be lamented and mourned. This is the honest truth. We may be relieved that our loved one is no longer suffering, we may be relieved that the one who hated us so much will no longer plague our lives but it is still a tragedy a reason for sorrow. David as a man of dignity and honor, mourned over the death of his enemy, lamented the ending of one who tried so hard to end his own life. He did not see a victory in death. He did not find pleasure in the passing of another. When confronted with both the death of his dearest friend and his worst enemy, his response was exactly the same anguish, lamenting mourning. We can expect no more and no less from ourselves. We should neither rejoice over the death of one who has continually sought to bring us harm, nor should find it odd that we mourn over the loss of a loved one. Death is real. Death is hard.