2 Samuel 1:12
“And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.”
The deaths of Saul and Jonathan were tragic. Saul died a premature death because of his unwillingness to repent, and Jonathan died as a direct result of his father’s sin. These were needless deaths. Had Saul listened to the LORD’s commandment, he would not have fallen by the sword. However, the Scriptural principle that you reap what you sow came to pass, and the sword was the eventual result of a man who couldn’t face his sin.
The Christian life is a battle, and we must never forget that it is. Because it is a battle, there are going to be some who fall by the sword. No, this sword will not be a physical sword; rather, it is the sword of sin that has taken the spiritual life of many good Christians. Our response to those who have fallen by the sword is important to their restoration. Unlike the sword by which Saul fell, the Christian can still be used even though the sword of sin has taken its blow against someone’s life. David’s action toward the fallen is a great example as to how you should respond when someone has fallen by the sword.
First, don’t rejoice in the fall. Saul was David’s enemy, but he wept instead of rejoicing. It should grieve your soul when you hear of another Christian who has fallen prey to the sword of sin. It should not matter if the person who fell was someone who stood against you, it should simply matter that another good person fell to sin whom God wanted to use without the scars of the sword in their Christian life. My friend, when you hear of a Christian falling in sin, let it grieve your heart that another brother or sister has fallen.
Second, don’t be the publisher of bad news. David said concerning Saul’s death, “…publish it not…” The worst thing you can do is to spread the news of another Christian who has fallen. The world will do their part in spreading the news, don’t be part of their evil attacks. The more that others know about someone falling, the harder it will be for them to recover from the fall. Don’t be the discourager to the fallen by spreading the news, but be the encourager by keeping it silent and praying for them.
Third, don’t quit the Christian battle because the leader you admired fell. Verse 4 says, “…the people are fled from the battle…” Just because someone you admired fell in sin doesn’t mean that God is dead. The only thing revealed by quitting when a leader falls is that you were following a man and not God. Christian, continue on when the leader has fallen. Continue and fight the battle against sin and the world so that others do not fall. If you run from the battle when your leader falls in sin, others will follow and fall by the sword. Don’t let the sword get the pleasure of taking more lives because one person has fallen. Keep standing for truth by fighting sin.
Christian, the longer you serve the LORD, you will sadly hear the news of others who have fallen by the wayside. Don’t let the news be the thing that causes you to quit. Keep serving the LORD; others are watching what you are going to do when the sword has taken another victim. Let your actions be like David’s who grieved about the fallen, but kept going in spite of the sad news of a leader falling by the sword.