A person’s last words seem to be significant to people. The last words of Leonardo Da Vinci were reported to be: “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” Groucho Marx gave one last witty remark: “This is no way to live!” And the last words reported to have been spoken by Winston Churchill were: “I’m bored with it all” – and nine days late he died at the age of 90.
Contrast those last words with those of King David, as recorded in 2 Samuel 23
Continue reading “David’s last words”
David was nearing the end of his life. Although he had wanted to build the temple for God, he had not been allowed to because he was a warrior (1 Chronicles 28:2-3). Instead, he drew up the plans and what needed to be made, as well as organizing the Levites and priests to serve in the temple (see 1 Chronicles 28:11-21).
God had chosen David’s son Solomon to be David’s successor and rule for God in Israel. “He said to me, ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my temple and my courts, for I have chosen him to become my son and I will become his father. I will establish his kingdom permanently, if he remains committed to obeying my commands and regulations, as you are doing this day’” (1 Chronicles 28:6-7). Continue reading “Faithfully serving God”
Chapters 23 to 27 of 1 Chronicles do not make the most interesting of reading for most of us. We find long lists people who were organized to do work that was needed in the temple, which Solomon would build. It would seem that David was a good organizer.
In 1 Chronicles 23 we have the Levites organized to do various work, both in the temple and to serve as judges. 1 Chronicles 24 details the organization of the priests as well as the remaining Levites. In 1 Chronicles 25 the musicians are organized – of note is the mention of “Heman,” “Asaph,” and “Jeduthun,” all of whom were in some way involved with the Psalms, either writing them (Heman and Asaph) or possibly composing music for them (Jeduthun – several Psalms are identified as “according to Jeduthun”). Although not mentioned here, the sons of Korah were also involved in writing many of the Psalms and served in the tabernacle. Continue reading “Be a friend”
When a king neared the end of his life it was customary to designate who would succeed him. David was now an old man (1 Kings 1:1). He had yet to publicly state who would succeed him as king. His surviving oldest son was Adonijah, who expected to become the next king.
“Now Adonijah, son of David and Haggith, was promoting himself, boasting, ‘I will be king!’ He managed to acquire chariots and horsemen, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard. (Now his father had never corrected him by saying, ‘Why do you do such things?’ He was also very handsome and had been born right after Absalom. ) He collaborated with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported him” (1 Kings 1:5-7 NET). Continue reading “The need to be good parents”
“As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he committed this cold-hearted crime, he must pay for the lamb four times over!” (2 Samuel 12:5-6 NET). So said King David when Nathan told the story to convict David of his sin with Bathsheba. I don’t think it is a coincidence that this is exactly the price David paid: he lost four of his children.
The first child to die was the one who had been conceived the night he spent with Bathsheba. God struck him with an illness and a week later the child died (2 Samuel 12:15-18). Continue reading “Further consequences of David’s sin”
In Acts 13, as Paul was speaking at the Jewish synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, he made this statement about King David: “God raised up David their king. He testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’” (Acts 13:22 NET). What higher praise could anyone have than for God to describe them as someone who is “after my heart.”
Yet David was far from perfect. We read in 2 Samuel 11 about his affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his inner circle of warriors (he was one of the thirty listed in 2 Samuel 23). But that wasn’t the end of the story. Bathsheba became pregnant and when David couldn’t get Uriah to sleep with his wife to cover up the pregnancy, he set it up so that Uriah would be killed in battle, in reality committing murder. He then sent for and married Bathsheba who, in due course, gave birth to a son. Continue reading “Sin has consequences”
Jonathan and David were the best of friends. If we look at their relative ages, which we can determine from when they both first appear in 1 Samuel, it is likely that Jonathan was up to twenty years older than David. Yet they had a healthy respect and love for each other, to the point that Jonathan was convinced that David would be the next king and not himself as next in line to the throne (you can read about this in 1 Samuel 23).
Before David lived as an outcast from Saul for several years, he and Jonathan made an oath that whichever of them survived, the other would take care of their children (1 Samuel 20). After David had reigned a number of years, he remembered Jonathan and his promise. He asked, “Is anyone still left from the family of Saul, so that I may extend kindness to him for the sake of Jonathan?” (2 Samuel 9:1 NET). Continue reading “David’s grace to Mephibosheth”
There is an interesting anomaly that took place while David was king. It is found in the list of the men who were his advisors or, perhaps we might say, his cabinet.
“So David reigned over all Israel, administering justice and righteousness for all his people. Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was court historian; Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was court secretary; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief officials” (2 Samuel 8:15-18 CSB). Continue reading “Relying on God”
I would guess that most of us have been there. Someone has made themselves our enemy. They torment us and make our life miserable when they are around us. Then one day an opportunity presents itself to get them back, to humiliate them in some way. After all they have done to us, they deserve it! (or so we reason). What do we do?
David faced something similar many times in his life. As you read through the Psalms, time and again he talks about his enemies being against him and doing things to him. One of those enemies was King Saul, who also happened to be David’s father-in-law. Continue reading “Trusting in God”
“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:6-7 NIV).
God had rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 16:1). He sent Samuel to anoint another to be the next king over Israel. God had already selected the one that he wanted, one of the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. Continue reading “God sees the heart”