Three Strikes and You’re Out
2 Samuel 1:15 (NIV)
15 Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’”
God blessed the plans for David to pursue the Amalekites and to bring back their wives and children. He had finished destroying the Amalekites when the news came to him from Saul’s camp. In reality, Saul killed himself, but this man was trying to gain a bounty or reward for claiming that he killed King Saul. Saul considered David his enemy and pursued him to try to kill him. However, David has respect for God’s rules, acknowledging God’s sovereignty over all events in the world. In the world, if your enemy was struck down, you would be doing your happy dance. David and his men mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the national of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword of the Philistines.
David then sentenced the young man who brought the report to death for killing the Lord’s anointed. David did this after fasting and mourning. He paid respect to Saul and Jonathan before asking more questions of this Amalekite who was hoping and waiting all evening for a reward. I would have pronounced judgment on him as soon as he said it, but David sought God first and then sought justice afterwards. This man must have been a slow learner and had many strikes against him. After telling David that he killed him, didn’t he notice that David and his men spent all day fasting and weeping for the man he just claimed that he killed? He could have left, but he must have been waiting for a reward. Maybe he could have changed his story once David asked him again where he was from.
David took up a lament for both Saul and Jonathan. His euology spoke of Saul and Jonathan as loved, admired, stronger than lions and mighty. Once again, David respected Saul and spoke of no criticism against him for trying to kill him. David respected authority and this is a far cry from how many in this world criticize the government leaders of our cities and of our nation. All I can say is that David was a tough act to follow and the warrior/leaders back then demanded the respect as they led their nation into battle for freedom.