2 Samuel 1:20-22
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice…
David lamented the king's death, and was sad with genuine and noble sorrow. There are events in life which make the commonest men almost sublime: how much more do such events elevate the princeliest men until they sing as angels or burn as seraphs? David's life has up to this point charmed us by its simplicity and heroism: to-day we see it in its highest mood of veneration and magnanimity.
I. One of the first lessons impressed upon us by this lament relates to DAVID'S NOBLE-MINDED FORGETFULNESS OF ALL PERSONAL INJURY. Do not some of us cherish the memory of our personal injuries, even after death has dug the awful gulf of the grave between the present and the past? Death is not to obliterate moral distinctions; but why should we judge when the man who injured us has passed on to the dread invisible — the very seat of the Just One?
II. The lament shows how DAVID WAS ENABLED TO TAKE THE HIGHEST AND BRIGHTEST VIEW OF HUMAN CHARACTER. He did not detract from the valour of Saul. Some people delay their praise too long. They keep back their affection until they have to suggest an epitaph. Make your love longer, even if you make your epitaphs shorter.
III. The lament impresses us with the BEAUTY OF A ZEALOUS AND TENDER CARE FOR THE REPUTATION OF THE LORD'S ANOINTED. Death is not the only fall. Men fall morally. The mighty men of the church fall like stars from heaven. The great preacher becomes a debauchee. The trusted professor is caught in fraud. The feet of the strong are tripped up. And there are men who delight in telling these things in Gath and Askelon!
IV. THE LAMENT SHOWS HOW BITTER IS THE DISTRESS WHICH FOLLOWS THE IRREPARABLE LOSSES OF LIFE. We do not always give full value to the positive side of life. We hold advantages and blessings as if we had a right to them. It is so in the very commonest things. It is so in nature: in family life: in church relations: sunshine; water; bread; friendship; ministry. The application of the whole:(1) Let us so live, that death will be but a momentary separation.
(2) In commending the wonderful love of Jonathan, let us remember that there is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.