Sincere Mourning

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Two-minute read.

“They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.”

2 Samuel 1:12

Sincere mourning.

When David heard the news of Saul and Jonathan’s death, he grieved the loss for Israel, understanding the weight of losing a king. Instead of celebrating the demise of his most violent enemy, David and his army fasted until evening. The nation lost a king, and David lost his best friend, Jonathan, like a brother to him. The bearer of the sad news, an Amalekite, confessed to killing Saul, so David had him executed.

Written about 1000 B.C., David’s poetic lament to the fallen king and his son never mentions God’s name or Israel’s faith. For nine verses, the soon-to-be king laments the nation’s loss, calling Jonathan his brother:

“I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.”  2 Sam. 1:26

In one moment, David lost his bitter enemy and best friend, two extremes united in death. Seeking God’s comfort through fasting and prayer helped the warrior process the unimaginable emotions. During times of grief, people look for comfort in different ways. Keeping our eyes on Jesus through fasting and prayer brings the most relief. Nothing can replace the grace we find in the Lord when we suffer deep sorrow.

Throughout his life, David often fasted and prayed. As a man after God’s heart, the shepherd boy became a warrior and king. Pursuing and trusting the Lord gave David a place in history like everyone else. Jesus’s royalty comes from the new king’s bloodline, God fulfilling His promise to David and Abraham. 

Learning from the giant killer, we should turn to God first when loss occurs. Fasting and prayer usher in a deeper connection with the Lord. Placing our sorrow at the foot of the Cross begins the healing process. Trusting God amid pain helps us keep moving forward. Although getting stuck at the moment offers the least path of resistance, it doesn’t mean we should take it. Processing grief hurts; we must sit in our suffering to move through it. Leaning into God’s promise to use all things for the good of those who trust and believe in Him helps us release our pain.

Grief, the price of love. Mourning, a natural human reaction to loss, grows us closer to the Lord when we choose to do it with Him.  Fasting and praying brings comfort we can find no other way.

Journal Questions:

  • How can I apply today’s devotion to my life?
  • What grief have I avoided dealing with in life?
  • How can fasting and praying help me find God’s comfort?


Lord, thank You for comforting us in our times of loss. Help us not get stuck in our mourning but move through it as we pursue You.  Heal the broken pieces, and make us whole again as we trust You.  Let us love others well, enjoy every moment You give us with them, and know that nothing lasts forever. IJNIP. Amen

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