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Lamenting over the Deceased (2 Samuel 1:17-27)

Introductory Thoughts

In Bible times, the mourning process often included a time of lamentation. Although lamentations were diverse, scripture points to a time set aside for speaking about the deceased. Today’s passage shows that David lamented the passing of Saul and Jonathan. He spoke positively about their efforts in battle (2 Samuel 1:25), their usefulness to Israel (2 Samuel 1:24), and their beauty (2 Samuel 1:23). Apparently, part of the healing process includes speaking of those who have departed. Perhaps it would lead to rejoicing in the good memories and crying at the mention of sad times. Regardless, it is clear that talking about the deceased helps those still alive in a time of mourning.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The Bible records that Josiah was the last king of Judah who truly wanted to follow God. He rid the land of idolatry, cleansed and repaired God's house, read the book of the law to the people, and wept over sins. When Josiah died in battle, Jeremiah the prophet and the people lamented over him (2 Chronicles 35:24-25).
  • (For everyone): How could it be helpful to talk about loved ones who have departed? How could it be harmful to refuse to speak of those who have gone on before us?
  • How do you handle the passing of loved ones? Do you try to get through the hurt without speaking of those who have died? Have you found this to be helpful?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you properly deal with the loss of loved ones.
  • Ask God to help you minister to others as they deal with death.