Today’s reading begins with the capture of David’s wives by the Amalekites and concludes with David’s lament over Saul and Jonathan.
After all that David had been through in his relationship with Saul, his lament of Saul’s birth is certainly a mystery. David had been Saul’s son-in-law as he had been married to Michal. David had also been a very close friend of Saul’s son Jonathan. Further, David had been a leader in Saul’s armies. Certainly an argument could be made that David had close ties to Saul.
Conversely, it’s somewhat atypical for any person to mourn the death of a person who was seeking to his death. Possibly many of the aforementioned reasons played a significant part in David’s grief, but the passage seems to imply that a great deal of David’s grief and anguish over the death of Saul surrounded the fact that the king had been anointed by the LORD to lead the people of Israel.
Shortly before his lament of Saul, David learns of Saul’s death at the hands of an Amalekite. Saul had been caught in battle with the Philistines and instead of dying by their hand he decided to kill himself. When the young Amalekite came upon Saul, he found Saul to still be alive. Rather than die by natural causes, Saul asked the young man to run him through. The young man did as Saul had requested, but when he told his story to David, David became enraged and asked why the young man did not fear the LORD. Not waiting long to here the response of the young man, David ordered the young men executed for his actions against the king of Israel.
I’m not certain of all the reasons David had for swift judgment against the young Amalekite, but the LORD had definitely found a man to be king of Israel who respected God’s calling and was willing to act to preserve and protect God’s reputation among God’s people.