“How the mighty have fallen, how the mighty have fallen, how the mighty have fallen.” David repeats this mournful phrase three times in 2 Samuel 1 after learning of the deaths of King Saul and his son, Jonathan. He laments, “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights…for there the shield of the mighty was defiled.”
It’s a tragic passage, and it becomes even more so when we think of the people we personally know who have “fallen” in to shame, regret, or disgrace. I’m always heartbroken and deeply sobered when I hear of ministers or church leaders who have lost their ministries because of poor choices. No one sets out to do that. No one would willfully choose a few minutes of pleasure (in any area) over his or her character and reputation—it sneaks up on people. Doors that should stay shut get peeked through, activities that should be banned get dabbled in, and wisdom eventually gives way to deception.
Let’s pray for ALL of God’s followers in the world today (we all need to cross the finish line of our lives well), but let’s take time this week to especially pray for the ones who have unusually high levels of visibility and notoriety. The church needs them to make it. So let’s pray that David’s lament would never be sung about them.