Had anyone ever the right to shout, “At last! He got his,” it was David at the death of Saul. It would seem appropriate for David to dance a jig on Saul’s grave and remove his name from the inscriptions and history books. Instead, David mourned and fasted the rest of the day and then raised a heartfelt lament for Saul and Jonathan. Jonathan was his friend, but Saul had personally tried to kill him at least twice. Further he had repeatedly led the armies of Israel after David when those armies were desperately needed to fight the Philistines.
To call Saul a brother in error does disservice to the concept of brother on every level except the most remote biological one which cannot be denied. Saul offered the sacrifice against the commandments of God. Saul refused to obey God to destroy the Amalekites. Saul with brute force refused to yield to God’s right to remove him from the kingship. Saul neglected all the duties of a King to pursue God’s anointed. When God refused to answer him, he went to a necromancer to summon up the ghost of Samuel in brazen defiance of God. Surely, here is a man who has yielded every right to treatment as a brother (2Sam 1, 1Sam 15, 28).
In his first official act as king, David questioned the Amalekite who had completed Saul’s failed suicide attempt, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” Then, he ordered him executed. Jehovah’s anointed--REALLY? After all that Saul had done?
How quickly we cut off a brother in error, declare him to be out of fellowship. Do we forget that God chose this one and anointed him as His child?
David played and sang for Saul to comfort him in the torments that resulted from his sin. Did we do aught for our brother who has sinned? David could have rejoiced, “At last! At last, God has given me what He promised and removed this rebellious sinner.” How many laments and prayers did we offer for the one who erred?
David tried again and again to comfort Saul and had to dodge spears for his thanks. What did we risk for the erring before we wrote him off?
Some so-called “defenders of the faith” seem to have the mindset to seek erring brethren simply to attack and destroy before they might harm the body of Christ. Is that the admonition from this thing written aforetime for our learning? (Rom 15:4).