David’s Last Words

I read about a prisoner in Florida some years ago that was pardoned by the governor. The man refused to be released from his sentence. The case went to court and the judge decided that unless the man accepted the dismissal of his sentence he would have to serve the entire … More


The list of David’s mighty men is preceded by a short poem (vv. 1-7) titled the last words of David. In the first stanza (v. 1) he identified himself as “the son of Jesse,” a peasant farmer in Bethlehem. David was never ashamed of that, as God lifted him “up on high” and placed him with the great men of the world, the man “anointed by the God of Jacob.” He is the same God who saved me and the same God who hopefully saved you.

His consciousness of being God’s instrument is clear from the second stanza (vv. 2-4), in which he acknowledged that God had spoken to him and through him (v. 2). The Spirit came upon David, and that is the way men wrote the Old Testament. Peter tells us that is the way men wrote the Old Testament (II Peter 1:20-21). The “rule over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (v. 3). It is obvious that the decisions made in our government today, regardless of the party, are not made in the fear of God.” He is a king who rules as an agent of God, and it says he is like the brilliance of the sun on a cloudless morning and like a clear day after rain (v. 4).

In the third stanza (vv. 5-7) David centered on the Davidic Covenant, by which God chose and blessed him. God had made an everlasting commitment with him and his dynasty (my house), a covenant that guaranteed his ultimate well-being (IISam. 7:8-16). In contrast, evil men, like so many thorns, will be cast aside to be consumed by the judgment of God (Matt. 13:30, 41). What David seems to be saying is simply this: “My house is not worthy of this. We did not receive this by merit. It did not come because of who I am.”


I should never make my decisions based on the fear of what men may say or what they may do. My decisions in life need to be based on the fear (assume respect) for God. This ia not a trembling type of fear.

II Samuel 23:1-7 (English Standard Version)

Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel: "The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth. "For does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand; but the man who touches them arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear, and they are utterly consumed with fire."

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