“How the Mighty Have Fallen”
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“How the Mighty Have Fallen”

2 Samuel 1:17-21  (ID: 3454)

Following Saul and Jonathan’s death, David cried out for silence in the streets and for a curse to descend on the mountain where the mighty of Israel had fallen. Although David’s lament was personal, he led all of Israel in mourning the nation’s calamity. As Alistair Begg explains, his sorrowful grief was a biblical response to death. When we take time to mourn, we show a watching world that death is indeed the last great enemy, even as we look forward to the return of Christ, who alone conquered death.


Sermon Transcript:

And I invite you to turn with me to 2 Samuel and to chapter 1, and we’ll read from 17 to the end of the chapter. Two Samuel, chapter 1, and from verse 17.

Now, we have just had the execution of the young man who came with his fabricated story of the death of Saul. And that then is followed by David’s lament for Saul and for Jonathan.

“And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son, and he said it should be taught to the people of Judah; behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar. He said:

“‘Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!
 How the mighty have fallen!
Tell it not in Gath,
 publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
 lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

“‘You mountains of Gilboa,
 let there be no dew or rain upon you,
 nor fields of offerings!
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
 the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

“‘From the blood of the slain,
 from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan turned not back,
 and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

“‘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!

“‘Jonathan lies slain on your high places.
 I[’m] distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
very pleasant have you been to me;
 your love to me was extraordinary,
 surpassing the love of women.

“‘How the mighty have fallen,
 and the weapons of war perished!’”

Thanks be to God for his Word.

We bow down before you, our good God, humbling ourselves and asking that the Holy Spirit will illumine to us the printed page. Open our minds that we might understand in our hearts, that we might be filled with the wonder of your grace. For we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Well, our title for this morning’s study should be no surprise. It is the refrain that runs through the verses that we read, “How are the mighty fallen.”[1] And I want to take some time this morning in getting to the text. I want you to know that so that you say to yourself, “Well, he said that he would do this,” as opposed to “Well, he must have lost his place” or something like that.

The Day of Death

Let me begin in this way. The birth of a baby—the birth of a baby—is an occasion of joyful celebration. Births of babies are surrounded by balloons, by laughter, and by a sort of overwhelming sense of gratitude. The birth of a baby is no occasion for somebody to say, “You know, on average, you only live about seventy years.” It’s a strange person that would be there at the welcome to the little one’s arrival.

The day of death focuses us on life’s frailty and on life’s brevity. Every funeral is an anticipation of our own funeral.

In contrast, the day of death—the day of death—focuses us on life’s frailty and on life’s brevity. And every funeral is an anticipation of our own funeral. And when the writer of Ecclesiastes addresses this, struggling, as it were, under the sun with the issue of the riddle of life—How do I make sense of my existence, where have I come from, where am I going?—in Ecclesiastes 7 (and I’m quoting it from the NIV), he writes as follows. Listen carefully to this:

A good name is better than fine perfume,
 and the day of death better than the day of birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
 than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
 [and] the living should take this to heart.[2]

The strange thing about death is that it shines a spotlight on life, particularly when mourning is taken seriously. However, if we are tempted to turn the funeral into a party, then we inevitably sidestep, or try to sidestep, the deep sadness that is a part of loss. This is Job:

As a cloud vanishes and is gone,
 so he who goes down to the grave does not return.
He will never come to his house again;
 his place will know him no more.[3]

Fact.

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale professor of philosophy and theology, wrote a book called the Lament for a Son. His oldest child, Eric, died at the age of twenty-five in a climbing accident, and his father wrote concerning that. Here’s a quote from it. He writes, “[It is] the neverness that is so painful.” The neverness.

Never again to be here with us—never to sit with us at table, never to travel with us, never to laugh with us, never to cry with us, never to embrace us as he leaves for school, never to see his brother and sister marry. All the rest of our lives we must live without him. Only our death can stop the pain of his death.

“A month, a year, five years—with that,” he writes, “I could live. But not this forever.”[4]

John Donne, the poet writes, “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”[5] You remember in Macbeth, he says, “Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell.”[6]

It is against the run of play to bury one of our children. Some of us have done so. But even when death comes by way of “natural causes”—when people have lived, if you like, a full life—nevertheless, when it arrives, we mourn. And the Scriptures are unashamed about mourning. In fact, the Scriptures are really, really clear about mourning.

When you come to the end of the book of Genesis and it records for us two significant deaths—the death of Jacob, the father, and then the death of Joseph, the son—in Genesis 49, we read of Jacob’s death. And then, as he announces all that is going to unfold, he tells them that he’s going to be gathered to his people, and he’s going to draw his feet up on the bed, and so on,[7] and it’s all very understandable. I mean, it has to happen. He gathers all of his household, his children and everybody around him, and they know exactly what is going on. And they know that God is God, and they know that he is in control of life, and we know that no one dies a day before they should, and so they all say, “Well then, there’s nothing to it!” No! “[And then,] when they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days.” And when the observers looked upon this, they remarked to one another, “This is a grievous mourning.”[8]

Now, let’s just pause there for a moment and assert what we know to be true in light of all that we have just said. First of all, we, as Bible believers, understand that death is sin’s penalty. Death is sin’s penalty. Romans chapter 5: “Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all [men] sinned…”[9] In other words, if you are a believer in Scripture, if you are trusting in Christ today, you know that you are distinct from the increasingly secular notion, which is, of course, that death is just natural. No, it’s not. It’s unnatural! God’s plan and purpose was not for death but for life. It is a penalty.

Secondly, we know that it is an enemy. It is an enemy. You don’t make peace with your enemies. Enemies have to be vanquished. In that great chapter on the resurrection, isn’t that what Paul tells us? First Corinthians 15:26: death is “the last enemy to be destroyed.”

Christ has triumphed. That’s the third point. Penalty, enemy, victory. Christ’s death has drawn the sting of death.

But we still die. People still die. Because death will only be ultimately destroyed when Jesus Christ returns. The consequences of the curse which fell upon sin will not be removed until the day of resurrection.

Christians ought to be better at joy and better at crying than anybody else in the entire universe.

So when we think along these lines, we do so in the awareness of the fact that in the meantime, we have to admit that “days of darkness still come o’er me, sorrow’s [path] I often tread.” Now, that is in the hymn—what is it, that hymn? “I Will Sing the Wondrous Story.” It’s a great hymn:

I will sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ who died for me,
How he left his home in glory
[From the curse to set me free].[10]

Terrific! True! But thank goodness the writer was prepared to put in that verse. Because some of us would be saying, “What’s wrong with me?” When the “days of darkness still come o’er me” and “sorrow’s [path] I often tread,” how am I to make sense of that?

You see, people talk about it all the time; they say, “Well, I think she’s coming to peace with it. She’s coming to terms with it.” You get to the book of Revelation, and it doesn’t say in the book of Revelation that finally God came to terms with death, or that God settled peace, as it were, with the enemy. No. No! It says, “Death shall be no more.”[11] It is finished, so that it is a radical shift, which is then. But in the now, there is lament.

And surely one of the great challenges for a Christian believer in our day is not simply to be able to show our increasingly godless environment what it is to be a joyful person, but to be able to teach our society how it is that you grieve—that Christians ought to be better at joy and better at crying than anybody else in the entire universe. But if you move around the average congregation and you find yourself overwhelmed, that you find yourself prepared to write a book like Lament for a Son, someone is liable to take you aside and say, “Don’t you know about the resurrection of Jesus Christ?” Yes, I do! But it’s the neverness of it.

Now, I don’t plan these things. Today it is, I woke up at three o’clock in the morning, I said, “Why am I waking again at three o’clock in the morning?” And I was just lying there, thinking, “This is my mother’s birthday. The fourth of October. She would have been ninety-five years old today. Oh, goodness, gracious. That’s a long time of never. Never to see you married. Never to see your children. Never to know where you are. Never to enjoy your success. Never to embrace you in sadness. Never.”

Now, you say, “Well, why is all of this?” I’m going to show you.

Lament and Remembrance

David here understood exactly what was going on: that God had sovereignly taken Saul out of the picture in order that he might then ascend to the role of the king. We might have expected that having executed this young fellow, the Amalekite, he might have just moved directly and quickly on with the forming of a new cabinet and of getting himself a new outfit and of sitting himself and trying for size whatever throne he might sit on. But he doesn’t do that. No, he doesn’t do that.

You see, death silences us—or at least it should. I have a hard time with all the jibber-jabber at what people call “the viewing.” That’s just personal. It’s no comment on your viewing. Not your viewing; you won’t know about your viewing. No, you want to say to somebody, “Sit beside me. Please don’t talk. Please don’t quote Romans 8:28. Not now. Please.” I’m aware that in the Bible, God has given us all the answers we need. But as our friend John Woodhouse observes, he hasn’t given us all the answers we might like.[12] All that we need, but not all that we might like.

Now, I say to you that all of this is on account of the fact that what we have come to here in the life of David, as he deals with the reality of death, the death of the soldiers, particularly the loss of Saul and of Jonathan, he laments: “And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son.” It is, if you like, a double eulogy. It is a eulogy both for the rejected king who had pursued him and made his life a misery, and it is a eulogy for Jonathan, who was his devoted friend and who had pledged his support for him.

Now, we will only have time to say a couple of things concerning this, but let’s be clear. When we use the word “lament,” what are we referring to? A lament is essentially a formal expression of sorrow or mourning—a formal expression of sorrow or mourning—especially in verse or in song. It is an elegy, or, if you like, a dirge. I think some of you were perhaps saying to yourselves as we sang that previous song, “Boy, this is not much of a tune, this one. This seems to be a little on the low side.” Well, I couldn’t find one that was in a minor key for us to sing. That was the best we could do to make the point, exactly.

You see, when everything’s funny, nothing’s funny. It’s only tears that make joy, joy. Lament.

People come to church—I think they come to churches like ours—and depending on what they encounter, you may find them, if they’re honest, saying to you, “Are there songs for singing when the light has gone out? Do you have any songs for sad people? Do you have any songs that identify why I have come from the mourning bench in hope of meeting with God, and you folks all seem somehow or another to fly at a different elevation? Do you know anything of lament?” It’s a fair question.

Now, notice that this lament is personal, but it isn’t private. David pours out his heart, this amazing expression of his poetry—the shepherd boy that writes poems. It’s thoughtful, it’s heartfelt. And he acknowledges the fact that it is vitally important that the people of Judah understand the significance of what has just happened on Mount Gilboa. That’s why in verse 18 he “said it should be taught to the people of Judah.” Well, actually, by the time this was written, it had found itself in the Book of Jashar. “What is the Book of Jashar?” you say. Well, it is a long-lost anthology of Israelite history and poetry that covered significant events. For example, the other reference I could find to it was in Joshua—you remember, on the occasion when the sun stood still.[13] And that is recorded in the Book of Jashar. So the Book of Jashar recorded significant people or significant events. And so he says here, “This needs to be taught to the people of Judah,” and clearly that had registered, and it was in that anthology.

History confronts us with who we are, what we’ve done, how God made us, and why it matters.

Now, why should it be taught to the people of Judah? Why would you teach a people a lament? Because it is historical. And because history matters. Now, there’s a novel thought at this point in the twenty-first century: that history matters. Because secular thinking increasingly, at the realm of the academy for a long time now, is increasingly committed to the theory that there can be no objective standard of historical truth. It is from that premise that so much history is taught. It bleeds down into the very immediacy of writing history when you discover that when reporters show up on the scene of an event—either, perhaps, a great triumph in a sporting event or as a result of a calamity—their first question is not “Can you tell us what happened here, when it happened?” No, their first question is “Can you tell us how you felt when you arrived at this?”

Schoolchildren… I just saw in the press this morning, in the British press, that between the ages of sixteen and twenty-nine in America, 30 percent of those people have got no concept whatsoever of there ever having been a Holocaust in which six million Jewish people were slaughtered. Thirty percent between the ages of sixteen and twenty-nine! Talk to a young person if you meet them in the street. Ask them about the Berlin Wall. They’ll say to you, “The Berlin what?”

History matters. And that’s why it is recorded for us in this way—not “Tell me how you feel.” In fact, it’s quite exciting. Because one of the profoundest features of the Christian and Jewish way of being in time and of being in history is the commitment to remembrance. Remembrance. The Bible is full of it: “Remember this. Remember this.” “Remember your Creator,”[14] and so on.

Now, we’ve seen this when we studied 1 Samuel, classically, in that great moment when the Philistines are turned back, and Samuel, what does he do? He took a stone, and he set it up, and he called the name of it Ebenezer, “for he said, ‘Till now the Lord has helped us.’”[15] “Oh, it’s just a big stone.” Yes, it’s a big stone, but it’s there for a reason. And irrespective of what you think about the nature of the memorials and colonialism and every other thing that goes around with it, it is no surprise—it is no surprise—that the present generation is happy to continually deconstruct history. Our history is good, it’s bad, it’s ugly, but it’s history. And why would people do this? Because history confronts us with who we are, what we’ve done, how God made us, and why it matters. And so, when we immediately want to go from the execution of the Amalekite to the enthronement of the king, we missed a vital part. Missed a vital part.

You see, it was a national calamity. And it was written down so that the people could be taught, so the generations that would come afterwards would realize. And if the Israelites were in any doubt about David in this transition—if some people were saying, “You know, there was a while when he was over there with Achish. He went to Gath. He was there with the Philistines and so on. How do you really think… Where is David in all this?” Well, the answer is right here. This lament settles it, good and entirely.

This deeply hurtful event in the life of Israel will be remembered for years to come, every time the refrain is heard and people in the grocery store, in response to some great calamity in life, reach back into 2 Samuel 1 without even knowing it, and they say to one another, “How are the mighty fallen.” You see, all the hopes and dreams—all the hopes and dreams that had carried Saul, that tall, handsome fellow, to the kingship, all of that that had fueled the enthusiasm of the people—all of that, about which we learned, has now been completely scattered on the hillside and has been buried under the tamarisk tree.

Now, you will remember, some of you, that 1 Samuel did not begin with a lament, but it began with a prayer. And in that prayer, Hannah actually said more than she realized. Remember, she says,

The Lord is a God of knowledge,
 and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken.[16]

Oh yes, they are.

Now, here—the “mighty” fallen in verse 19—the “mighty” is plural. It is plural, encompassing the army. The focus in the mind of David is not exclusively on Saul and Jonathan. It is particularly on them. And if we want to know what has really taken place, the opening phrase helps us: “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!”

Now, that word for “glory” is an enigmatic word in the Hebrew. It’s translated some places as “the ornament,” and it is translated other places as “the gazelle.” The translators of the ESV have decided, “Rather than complicate everything, since it may also be translated ‘glory,’ then let’s just leave it as it is.” But if you think about it in that way: “Your glory, your ornament, your regimental crest, your big banner, Saul, that’s trash. That got blown away. That’s lying on a hillside.” Or if you like “the gazelle”: “Your gazelle is slain.” You don’t slay ornaments. You slay creatures. And when we get down, in a month’s time, to verse 25, where we are told that Jonathan is slain, you say, “Aha! In many ways, that just makes perfect sense. All that was potential has now been fractured.”

Silence in the Streets, a Curse on the Mountain

Now, the lament, which is here for us in 20 and following, longs for two things initially in particular, and I’ll tell you what these are, and then we will stop, all right? The lament longs for silence in the streets and a curse upon the mountain.

You see, remember, David’s victory had become a hit song in Israel, in Judah. The ladies were out singing in the streets, “He has really done a great thing. He was even more powerful than Saul.”[17] And on that occasion, praise was due to the living God. David understood that. It must have charmed him a little that people would sing about him in the streets, but he knew that he couldn’t take on Goliath and win. No, it was so lopsided. But remember what he said? “I come against you in the name of the living God of Israel, and he’ll bring you down, and I’ll cut off your head.”[18] Well, that is exactly what had happened.

But that was a while ago, and now Saul is dead. David is still to learn of the details of what has happened. But it pains him as he writes to think of the Philistine cities hosting street parties in honor of their lifeless idols. That’s exactly what was happening. And actually, we know that is what has happened: that the Philistines had been having Philistine-gospel rallies. We know that from the end of chapter 31.[19] But he doesn’t know that. And so he says, “This is so calamitous, may it be that the silence fills the streets all the way from Gath to the furthest end of Philistia and Ashkelon. We can’t have this going on in response to this great calamity.”

No, you see, these “daughters of the Philistines” are “the daughters of the uncircumcised.” People say, “Well, that’s a strange thing.” Well, no, it actually isn’t. Again, if you go back to David and Goliath, he says, “You are a great uncircumcised Philistine.”[20] What was the significance of that? “You have no place at the table of God. You have no part in the celebration of the Passover. You are not remotely like us! You do not belong to us.” In other words, the people of God are marked out from those who are around them.

Loved ones, I don’t want to stop on this, but let’s not forget that: that if you are in Christ today, you are different. You have a different view of history. You have a different view of Jesus. You have a different view of morality. You have a different view of marriage. We could go down the list and say to ourselves, “Goodness, we’ve forgotten how different we are!” And I’ll tell you why: because we have succumbed again and again and again to the thought forms of a secular world. We have imbibed it.

Now, when Paul is telling the Ephesians about those who are the uncircumcised—those who are “the Gentiles,” as he puts it, in Ephesians 4—know what he says? He says “they[’re] darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to [the] hardness of [their] heart[s].”[21] “They are darkened in their understanding.”

And if you’re a student of history, you say, “Oh, but haven’t you heard of the Enlightenment? Don’t you know what happened to us when we suddenly realized the place of reason? When we embraced rationality? When we set aside these silly old ideas about a God who created the heavens and the earth?” And what is the judgment of God on this? “They are darkened in their understanding.” “Behind a facade of ‘wisdom’ they [have become] … fools.”[22] “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”[23]

My friends, who will weep? Who will weep? Which of us will weep for the state of contemporary Christianity, that has been absorbed into the culture so successfully that the only people who could miss us are blind guides?[24] They would assume we’re just the same.

And David is actually asking for the impossible—because it can’t happen, it hasn’t happened. And he’s asking for the impossible again on the mountains of Gilboa: “Let there be no dew or rain upon you, [and no] fields of [offering].” You see, this is what happens when death comes. This is what happens when death comes. See, what he’s saying is: “It’s not right. It’s not right that flowers should still bloom, that springs should still gush forth, that fruitfulness and vegetation should arise on this mountain.” He’s essentially saying, “Curse this mountain. Because I can’t stand the thought of the fact that up there on that mountain lie all the uniforms and the shields and the bits and pieces whereby the glory of God has been vanquished in that place.”

You see how the mentality of things is? He’s not saying, “Well, it doesn’t matter. You win some, you lose some. You know, the Philistines are not that bad, really. I mean, we’re bad, they’re bad, everybody’s bad”—the kind of relativistic thinking of our day. No, not for a moment! He’s so broken by the news that he can’t bear the thought of life going on as normal.

Do you remember that? I have to tell you, just because it’s in my mind. But when my mother died on the first of November ’72—I remember this so strongly, and you will identify with this—I had to get the Tube into the center of London, and then I had to get on the railway train from King’s Cross to Leeds in Yorkshire. And I remember sitting on the thing, saying to myself, “How can life just go on like this? How can birds sing? How can this just go? Don’t they realize?”

This is Wolterstorff: “I walked into a store. The ordinariness of what I saw repelled me …. How could [people] be going about their ordinary business when these were no longer ordinary times? … Do you not know that [my son] slipped and fell and that we sealed him in a box and covered him with dirt and … he can’t get out?”[25] The neverness of it.

Loved ones, the poet is right: anyone’s death diminishes me. And the picture that we end with is there for us all to view in the second half of 21: “There the shield of the mighty was defiled, [and] the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.” What a visual, you see: the shield of Saul now covered in dirt, scarred, dry, unprepared for use. These leather shields that were also embedded with pieces of steel and metal were routinely oiled in order to make them difficult for people to grab ahold of, and also to make them increasingly effective in things glancing from them. But now that’s all in the past. The leather is unoiled—or, if you like, the leather is unanointed.

The story of Saul is the story of Israel, it’s the story of world history, and it is the story that can find its answer ultimately and savingly only in Jesus.

Yeah, that’s it, isn’t it? Because the rejected king lies buried under the kind of tree where he once held court.[26] And what makes it so unbearably sad is what might have been. Is what might have been.

Back earlier in the story—and I remember when I was asked about this following the study of that chapter, we talked about it together—Samuel comes to Saul, and he says to him, “You know, things would have been very different if you had obeyed God. You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God. If you had done so, the Lord would have established your kingdom forever.”[27]

You see, the story of Saul is the story of Israel, it’s the story of world history, and it is the story that can find its answer ultimately and savingly only in Jesus.

[Don’t you] know [that] …
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
 … its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
 … spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
who brings princes to nothing…

Presidents as well.

[Who] makes the rulers of the earth … emptiness.

Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
 scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
 and the tempest carries them off like stubble.[28]

Well, you say, “Well, this is unbelievably sad.” No, no, no, no. No. Because there is yet a King. Not David, but Jesus. And when you get to the end of the story…

But you see, don’t go there too quick! Don’t miss the journey. Don’t miss the lessons and the opportunities that are provided in the lament by trying to charge immediately to the positive.

“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’”[29] “All things new.”

Now, you’re sensible people. You can put all the pieces together. Think about this in relationship to the contemporary preoccupation with the fact that our world is gonna be dead in a few days, a few weeks, a few months, a few years, whatever it might be: “Oh, what are we gonna do now?” Well, don’t you realize that the God who made this world sits above the world and controls the winds and the waves? If you’re a Christian, you do. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a view on climate change. But it is, you don’t… That’s one you can take off your list and not waken up at three o’clock in the morning. God’s got it. “I’ll make everything new. I’ll get it right. I’ve got it right.”

There’s a higher throne.

Let’s pray:

Father, thank you. Thank you that your Word comes to stir us, especially when we think about death. It is so terrifying. It’s so confusing. It’s just tough. Yeah. One of my grandchildren yesterday afternoon, out of the blue, talking about nothing, said, “Papa, will I be a grandmother one day?” Ah! And then I thought, “Yeah, but I won’t be here to see it.” Never. Never.

Thank you in Jesus, death is transformed. And thank you that the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.[30] Amen.

 


[1] 2 Samuel 1:27 (KJV).

[2] Ecclesiastes 7:1–2 (NIV 1984).

[3] Job 7:9–10 (NIV 1984).

[4] Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 15.

[5] John Donne, “Meditation 17,” in Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624).

[6] William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 2.1.

[7] See Genesis 49:33.

[8] Genesis 50:10–11 (ESV).

[9] Romans 5:12 (ESV).

[10] Francis H. Rowley, “I Will Sing the Wondrous Story” (1886).

[11] Revelation 21:4 (ESV).

[12] John Woodhouse, 2 Samuel: Your Kingdom Come, Preaching the Word, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015), 54.

[13] See Joshua 10:13.

[14] Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NIV).

[15] 1 Samuel 7:12 (ESV).

[16] 1 Samuel 2:3–4 (ESV).

[17] See 1 Samuel 18:7.

[18] 1 Samuel 17:45–46 (paraphrased).

[19] See 1 Samuel 31:9–10.

[20] 1 Samuel 17:26 (paraphrased).

[21] Ephesians 4:17–18 (ESV).

[22] Romans 1:22 (Phillips).

[23] 1 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV).

[24] See Matthew 15:14; 23:24.

[25] Wolterstorff, Lament, 52.

[26] See 1 Samuel 22:6; 31:12–13.

[27] 1 Samuel 13:13 (paraphrased).

[28] Isaiah 40:21–24 (ESV).

[29] Revelation 21:5 (ESV).

[30] See Revelation 11:15.

Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.