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2 Samuel 1:1-16
After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. On the third day, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and honored him. David said to him, “Where have you come from?” He said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” David said to him, “How did things go? Tell me!” He answered, “The army fled from the battle, but also many of the army fell and died; and Saul and his son Jonathan also died.” Then David asked the young man who was reporting to him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan died?” The young man reporting to him said, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa; and there was Saul leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen drew close to him. When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, ‘Here, sir.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ He said to me, ‘Come, stand over me and kill me; for convulsions have seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ So I stood over him, and killed him, for I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”
Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them; and all the men who were with him did the same. They mourned and wept, and fasted until evening for Saul and for his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. David said to the young man who had reported to him, “Where do you come from?” He answered, “I am the son of a resident alien, an Amalekite.” David said to him, “Were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?” Then David called one of the young men and said, “Come here and strike him down.” So he struck him down and he died. David said to him, “Your blood be on your head; for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the LORD's anointed.’”
Crossing the Line
A lot of people are having a difficult time respecting our national leaders and not just because of their politics. I mean, when they read the kind of filthy language used by a government official or listen to proofless accusations bandied about, they become frustrated by those who are suppose to look after our country and discouraged about the future of our society. And although these emotions may be understandable, some of these folks feel justified in dropping to the level of those whom they criticize. They make the same kind of cutting comments and direct the same kind of cruel language to those they no longer respect. In fact, their dislike might lure them across the line, where they hope, even pray that these people fail and suffer.
But before we cross that line, I think we need to remember this story about David and the Amalekite. You see, even though King Saul wanted to kill David and David had been bobbing and weaving for years, he still recognized that Saul was God’s anointed and that he’d been given his position my God himself. Therefore, even though he may not have liked him or respected him as a person, the King should always be treated with respect, regardless whether he’d earned it or not. And this may be something we need to remember before we let our feeling pull us across the line.