Then, as is recorded in the remainder of the first chapter of the Old Testament Book of II Samuel, he proceeded to sing a mournful song eulogizing these two men whom he had considered giants among the people of God.
When David had first encountered Saul, he had considered him bigger than life! Indeed, according to I Samuel, chapter 9, verse 2, Saul was “as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else”.
Add to that the fact that Saul had been selected as the very first king of Israel. As well as the fact that, according to I Samuel, chapter 18, verse 7, the people of Israel lauded him as having killed thousands of enemy troops.
Thus, even granted that young David would one day grow up and surpass all that Saul had ever accomplished, one can still imagine just how much in awe of this larger than life individual that young David must have been when he first laid eyes on Saul!
As a young man, my uncle, Roy Larry Jackson, was equally larger than life in my small eyes. At a commanding 6’ 2” tall, and weighing in at around 240 pounds (all without an ounce of fat on him), he was an impressive figure!
I remember being regaled at tales of him, as a grade school student, setting aside his homework and apologizing to his mother (and my grandmother) in advance as he then went out into the front yard and soundly thrashed the two infamous Askew brothers, who had been standing outside taunting him mercilessly for the previous thirty minutes.
To be sure, Uncle Roy’s fighting days were long over by the time I came along. But I remember his superhuman displays of strength as he batted clean-up on the church softball team, swatting balls with consistent regularity way over the outfield fence and out into the woods.
He almost never had to sprint to first base; instead, he usually just trotted around all the bases and then loped home, having just cleared them with one swing of his mighty bat.
And when he wasn’t playing softball, or earning a living by driving for a trucking firm out of Atlanta, he was always busy on the farm. I have seen him sling bales of hay up into the loft of the barn in one fell swoop (no small feat at a height of over fifteen feet). Even more impressive, I have seen him drive over one hundred fence post holes by hand in a single day, and still string and attach four strands of barbed wire before supper time.
To put it bluntly, in my estimation, Uncle Roy was as big a man as there was, as there ever had been, and as there ever was likely to be. But, alas, that was then; and this is now. For how are the mighty now fallen! You see, Roy Larry Jackson, for all the man he was, passed away this morning after a long and valiant struggle with cancer. In so doing, he became the last remaining sibling of my deceased father to depart this life.
But while he no longer strides the base paths of this world, I am confident that he now walks the streets of glory. And while his powerful earthly body eventually succumbed to a terrible foe, I am certain that he now has a new body – one that will never be smitten. And most important of all, while he has been taken from my family and me here in this world, he has most assuredly been reunited with those which have gone before.
I know these things because I know his testimony. Early on in life, my uncle submitted to the authority of One who was even bigger, even stronger, and even greater than him. Roy Jackson gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ. And now, he has been rewarded with a life that is far bigger, far greater, and far grander than anything this world has to offer. Now, more than ever, he has truly been transformed and begun to experience a life far, far bigger than that of this world!
Have the mighty fallen? Yes, they have. But, praise God, they have also now been raised to newness of life – one bigger and better than any we have ever known! And by our faith in Jesus Christ, we too shall live again. Bigger and better than ever before!