2 Samuel 1 & 1 Corinthians 12

2 Samuel 1

    After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” And the young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and behold, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ And he said to me, ‘Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

    Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. And David said to the young man who told him, “Where do you come from?” And he answered, “I am the son of a sojourner, an Amalekite.” David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?” Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” And he struck him down so that he died. And David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the LORD's anointed.’”

    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 am 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!”

(2 Samuel 1 ESV)

1 Corinthians 12

    Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

    For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

    For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

    The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

    Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

    And I will show you a still more excellent way.

(1 Corinthians 12 ESV)

Something to Consider

1 Corinthians 12: It’s apparent that some of the Corinthian Christians were dividing the church over disagreements concerning “spiritual gifts” (God-given abilities meant for the edifying of His church). There was so much emphasis and esteem being placed on certain gifts that those who seemed to be lacking these certain gifts were beginning to feel as if they were missing a vital aspect of what it means to be a Christian. On account of some in the church exalting their own particular giftedness, others began to question whether they were truly regenerated members of the Christian church at all.

Throughout history, the church seems to fall into this tendency of dividing itself over disagreements concerning matters that are not essential for salvation. How many of us today seem to esteem certain spiritual abilities or actions as the mark or the standard for what it means to be a “good Christian”? Do you consider feeding the poor as a higher Christian work than making disciples in the work place? Do you consider missionaries called by God to the jungles of Africa to be more valuable than pastors called by God to our communities here in America? Paul reminds us that the church as a whole is an organism made up of many members arranged by God as He chooses with Himself being the heartbeat (Holy Spirit) and the head (Christ) of this living body. 

The church is a living entity created and powered by the triunity of God. We as the church are given a variety of spiritual abilities, but the same Spirit; we are called to a variety of actions, but we serve the same Lord; and we participate in a variety of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. The church body is most efficient and effective when all its members are working together in fulfilling their own specific callings and roles. May we recognize our role and respect the roles of others. May we seek the pure unity of the Spirit in the midst of our unique diversity in service.