Loved but not admired!?


What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?

“Saul and Jonathan — in life they were loved and admired.” (2 Samuel 1:23)
I struggled to find something in this reading that spoke to me.
But I was struck by how David remembers Saul in these words.
David may be overstating things when he says that Saul was loved and admired.
How could David say this, given how much stress Saul had caused him?
To me these words show how limited and biased our own perspectives are.
How David saw Saul, and how God saw Saul, are two different things.
God certainly loved Saul, but my sense is that God did not admire Saul’s ways.
God loved David too, but does God admire how David lived?
God loves us all, but also hates that which is selfish, sinful and bad in us.
Everyone seems to be a saint when they are remembered at funerals.
But God knows us as we really are, without any embellishments.
God may not admire us but does ‘speak well’ (eu-logos) to us.
Jesus is God’s eulogy (good word) to us; God remembers us through Jesus!
This is why we admire and love Jesus, because of his goodness and love to us.
Lord, I know there are things not to be admired in me. My perspective of myself – and others – is flawed. Thank you that your perspective of me – and others – is gracious from beginning to end.


  1. David lamented over the death of Saul and Jonathan. His words were kind although Saul had pursued him to kill him. Words spoken need to be words of truth at all times, even while living. People need to be remembered while they are living – a living wake – not when they are dead. And we need to see others not as we see them but as God sees them. We all are His and His banner over us is love. Love one another. We are all His kids of the kingdom.

    We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,
    Be the guardian of our way;
    Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,
    Seek us when we go astray:
    Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
    Hear, O hear us when we pray;
    Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
    Hear, O hear us when we pray.

  2. Love and death. David’s love for Johnathan was deep – and his tribute to both Jonathan and Saul was genuine. But death not only took them, but as well as the Amalkite who thought he could get a ‘benefit’ from David, and death came for many in both the Judah and Israelite camp. Finally it stopped. Vying for power by weapons – leads to death. I too need to watch out for abusive behaviour – when I exercise power over someone else. Instead may I be humbled to be a peacemaker – being like Jesus in the face of confrontation. Dying to my own nature and living for the new creation within me!

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