Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel

24 WEEP OVER SAUL    2 Samuel 1

This book is full of grief. It is full of folk whose emotions are as predictable as mine can be; did someone say ‘not very’?

David is intoning his lament over Saul. He is commanding the people to join in weeping. Absent the preceding drama, it sounds sensible.

The thing is, it’s not. Makes a reverend want to raise an eyebrow at David: Oh, so you’re sad. Right.

Saul was to David what Samuel had been to Saul: A possibly paranoid and often unpleasant predecessor. These guys had mixed like toothpaste and fruit juice.

C’mon now!

First it was Samuel’s sense of rejection; understandable, yes, until he acts like Saul’s end is his undoing. [He didn’t want Saul. He made life difficult for Saul.]

David enters the scene. Saul the resent-ee becomes the resent-er. David has to hide from the old man (chs.18-20)! Yet, you and I are supposed to believe that the world is ceasing to turn when David hears of Saul’s death.

The Samuel-Saul-David era is a hot mess.

Or maybe it is more true to life than we expect Scripture to be.

Tell me, have you cried over something toward which your heart was at one time hardened? Have you been struck a sense of needing another alive, even if you are at odds? Have you favored a song or written a poem that deals with missing the forest of someone’s worth for some real silly trees?

I hope so. That makes you a ready recipient of God’s story and the story of us trying to be God’s people. That makes you the kind of person with whom I want to read the Bible—the sort of spirit I need walking alongside of me.

Weep over Saul, David says. I say: You heard him. Weep. Because that’s how we do it in the kin-dom. We have mercy. We show mercy. While it is yet messy.