Tuesday, 26 July 2011

How the mighty have fallen...

"How the mighty have fallen..."  

This common adage is repeated when someone rich and powerful 'topples' over and our envy of their success turns into smug satisfaction at their fall.

However, this saying actually originates from a song David penned before he was a king; back when he and his rebel soldiers were hiding in the desert to avoid King Saul's attacks. Jonathan, King Saul's firstborn and the heir to the throne, had every reason to align himself with his father in seeking the death of their rival to the throne. 
However, Jonathan believed that God had chosen David to be the next King and so he put his own ambitions aside and was to David the most "faithful of friends, shielding David's life at the peril of his own." Jonathan also was "...steadfast at his father's side through the dark days of his declining power, and at his side falling at the last during the terrible battle with the Philistines at Mount Gilboa." David wrote this song in his grief when he heard the news of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. 

"The name of Jonathan is treasured in heaven, and it stands on earth a witness to the existence and the power of unselfish love."

The word 'love' is much abused in our language but in the truest sense of the word, it means to have the courage and sacrifice to do what is good for others, even at the expense of our own interests.

May God, who is the author of love, help us to be the sort of people who will love others. Whoever we are, if we love those who God has entrusted to us in our life, our name will also be treasured in the eyes of heaven.

(excerpts in speech marks are from the account of David's life in Patriarchs and Prophets).

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