2 Samuel 1:23-25 (ESV)
 “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
In life and in death they were not divided;
they were swifter than eagles;
they were stronger than lions.
 “You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet,
who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
 “How the mighty have fallen
in the midst of the battle!
When a murderous dictator dies, what might be said in his obituary? What words might be used by an actual victim of his violence, whose very life was threatened multiple times? Odds are, we wouldn’t hear words like “beloved” or “lovely.” Yet this is how David describes Saul as he laments his death.
For years, David lived on the run, fearing for his life even though he had been chosen by the Lord as Israel’s next king. David had shown only faithfulness and mercy to Saul, yet time and time again, Saul sought his life. But rather than rejoice in his newfound safety or his impending coronation, David mourns his enemy and calls the daughters of Israel to weep over Saul.
David not only mourns his enemy, he exalts him. We are far more likely to remember the faults or the wounds caused by people around us than their good qualities. Yet David can describe Saul as swift, strong and mighty. He remembers Saul as the king who brought riches to Israel.
When I’m hurt by another person, it’s not that I wish any kind of violence against him, but if I’m honest, I would be disappointed if he completely got away with what he’s done. Many thoughts would run through my mind. “How would he learn his lesson?” “Wouldn’t it be an injustice if there were no consequences for sin?” “What if he sins against more people?”
David has no such thoughts for he is that rare man who is not driven by vengeance, self-righteousness, or even his own well-being. After many years of following the Lord and finding Him trustworthy, David is free to be moved by love. He is free from the need to be judge and he can even mourn the suffering of his enemy.
The example of David challenges us to pursue mercy for those who don’t deserve it, just as the Son of God pursued mercy for us at the cost of His life. May God give us grace to forgive freely and to bless those who have hurt us.