July 14, 2023
“These are the last words of David: The declaration of David son of Jesse, the declaration of the man raised on high, the one anointed by the God of Jacob...”
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“These are the last words of David: The declaration of David son of Jesse, the declaration of the man raised on high, the one anointed by the God of Jacob, the favorite singer of Israel:” 2 Samuel 23:1 (HCSB)
What are a redneck’s last words? “Hey y’all, watch this!”
What are his best friend’s last words? “Aw, I can do better than that!”
Today we are treated to a rarity in that David’s last words are less brief (and more profound) than others. It is important to note that there is no claim that these words were literally the last words David breathed. They are his last official words, “for the record.”
David’s last words on record are words with eyes, not to the past but the future. David’s “last words” might be compared to the blessings of Isaac (Genesis 27:2-4), Jacob (Genesis 49: 1, 28), and Moses (Deuteronomy 33:1) before their deaths. But this text does not exactly fit those molds.
David’s last words are not a blessing on persons but a prophecy about a kingdom. This passage, along with chapter 22, stands at the center of 2 Samuel 21-24. The psalm of chapter 22 looks back upon how the Lord established the kingdom; the prophecy of 23:1-7 looks forward to how the Lord will consummate the kingdom.
David is passing along (to us) his understanding that God’s Kingdom is:
Certain: (v.v.1-3a, 5) Our lives are filled with uncertainties. Don’t we all, at some time, wonder how our apparently senseless circumstances jibe with God’s wisdom? In many ways, we still have to encourage and convince each other that God is present, powerful, and Holy and that He cares about us in difficult seasons of life. We would never naturally ascribe Kingdom hope to our personal suffering. Therefore, David is speaking from Divine enabling. He is prophesying things we would not naturally assume: The coming Kingdom is not a political possibility but divine certainty.
Attractive: (3b-4) The Kingdom is attractive because the coming King (Messiah Jesus) is attractive. Not physically attractive, per se, but He does not crush or exploit His subjects. He refreshes and nourishes them. The King is attractive because we have seen so little of this kind of ruler. Given our current political climate, aren’t our hearts stirred to pray for the Kingdom of the “Final David” to come quickly?
Exclusive: (6-7) It is exclusive because not everyone wants the Kingdom to come. Some want no part of the Ruler’s reign. Jesus is the “Rose of Sharon.” The godless people in the garden are “like thorns;” He brings freshness while they inflict pain. And they will be excluded from the regime they despise, tossed away, and totally burned up on the spot (Matthew 13:41-42). So, what about you? Are you for or against Him?