Death of Saul and Jonathan
Monday Club Sermons
2 Samuel 1:17
And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:

I. A GOOD CHANCE WILL NOT ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL CAREER. Be thankful for an open path to success. But be cautious. Education, fortune, and friends will not make a man. That, his own energy and faithfulness must do. The world's competition makes short work of external advantages, and a good chance makes more conspicuous poor achievement. Indeed, the kindest choice may be the adversity which puts men on their mettle, calling out that earnestness and thoroughness which the world loves to honour. A thousand times it has been proved that he who will succeed, can; a thousand times, that the fairest opportunity may be thrown away by reckless or impotent or unwise favourites of fortune.

II. DIVINE HELP WILL NOT SECURE SUCCESS. What more could Heaven have done for this king with a ruined life? And are there none in these days for whom God seems to have done everything? Their very birth was into blessings. How sacred influences have sung over their cradles, and rocked them to sleep in a fond mother's arms. How friends have taken them by the hand, wise to counsel, patient to bear, helpful to instruct. And God has come very near. It is almost impossible for a youth to grow up in a Christian land without feeling strongly and persuasively the claim of God upon him. Companions, older friends, become Christians. He joins them and catches the inspiration. He knows God has come to him, and thinks he has come to God. Is it genuine? Will it last? Each of us knows some Saul who has fought against Heaven's kindness to accomplish his own ruin. Divine love cannot save an unwilling heart.

III. ENTIRE CONSECRATION TO GOD IS THE ONLY ASSURANCE OF A SUCCESSFUL CAREER. Saul's ruin sprang from his disobedience. Absolute surrender to God, unquestioning and unswerving obedience, would have fixed his will and enthroned the good in his nature. Though God gives opportunity, man must use it. Special Divine favours heap up condemnation, if not met with a consecrated will. The Divine purpose may use a bad man against his will and without his profit. There is no sadder sight than the gradual breaking down of a lofty soul under the influence of unresisted temptation. Religious impressions are not religious principles. Good and evil dwell together in every soul; character is determined, not by our sensitiveness to their influence, but by our choice. How do I know but that now some of you may be hesitating before great temptations — to use for yourselves that which is not yours; to break over the pure and sacred laws which control the relations of man and woman? That way lies death. The laws of God cannot be overcome. Though you lived a king, shame would defile you, gloom and fear gather about your last hours. But to the wise, God increaseth knowledge; to the obedient He addeth strength. On this earth they have peace and honour; among the angels, before the face of God, eternal blessedness.

(Monday Club Sermons.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:

WEB: David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son

David's Lament
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