Thank You, risen, ascended, triumphant Jesus, for the gifts You have so generously given Your people.
Read 2 Samuel 1:17–27
17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):
19 “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
How the mighty have fallen!
20 “Tell it not in Gath,
proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
21 “Mountains of Gilboa,
may you have neither dew nor rain,
may no showers fall on your terraced fields.
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.
22 “From the blood of the slain,
from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
23 Saul and Jonathan—
in life they were loved and admired,
and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.
24 “Daughters of Israel,
weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle!
Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
more wonderful than that of women.
27 “How the mighty have fallen!
The weapons of war have perished!”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift” (Eph. 4:7, The Message).
David the songwriter uses his gift to help the nation with its grief (17,18). In particular he expresses his brotherly love for Jonathan and deep sorrow at his loss (23,26). Read the song again, pausing at the end of each verse to summarize, in your own words, the good things David says about the king and his son. Aren’t David’s words beautiful?
Notice too where David mentions the Lord in the song. That’s right—he doesn’t! It’s anyone’s guess why he doesn’t. When Christians use their gifts, it doesn’t always mean writing poems or music about Jesus, or making a gorgeous meal for the neighbors and slipping in a sermon between the starter and main course. But it does mean using our gifts to point people in the direction of Jesus. That’s different—think about it! The combination of you, your words, your manner and your gifts should all make a compelling combination.
List the gifts the Lord has given you—the remarkable abilities you often use to help others, within the church and beyond.
Thank You, God, for Your gifts to me. Empower me to use them ever more generously to express the Good News of Jesus.