Pentecost +5 - Year B
Methinks David doth protest too much. How the mighty have fallen, indeed. It’s as if David hasn’t been at odds with Saul. All this mighty talk simply says is that David has done extraordinarily well to have survived against someone so mighty. Praise of Saul redounds to David’s benefit.
This dirge is neither religious (not about G*D) nor national (not about Israel). It does reflect on how courage does not keep one from their “fate”. Considering that laments usually end with some word of hope or praise, the closing words here are: “The weapons of war perished!” We are still looking for courage-in-action to do away with weapons of war, not just opportunities to protest against them.
In what is a very personal response to the loss of anointed and known leaders carries with it a word of prophecy - living with a sword, like having only a hammer when faced by a screw, turns everything into violence, into a nail. This applies to Saul falling on his sword, harakiri like, wherein violence toward others ends up being self-negation.
There might be a sense of this happening institutionally to the Christian church. After generations of power (ruling politically and militarily, enforced conversions, and the like) there is a question whether it can only be meaningful as top gun, 2,000 years of history may be no more than 3 days in Ziklag - waiting and surprised when Saul finally goes down and Godot shows up with a new identification card in another name, with another face.
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For an interesting read, try the elided section in conjuction with 1 Samuel 31:4. Now try to sort through which story rings true for you today. This may be a more fruitful preaching place to tie in with the Markan passage.