David's Last Words

2 Samuel 23:1-7
SA 23:1-7{Beautiful last words are they too, none more so. Spoken by the dying Psalmist of Israel at the close of an eventful life, they are full of beauty and pathos, coupled with a divine simplicity. They are what we might expect from a man of God, who had in his course tasted much of the bitterness of his own ways, but the glorious grace of God's ways as well.
It is to be noticed that he lays claim to full inspiration. " The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and his word was on my tongue," and hence his language goes beyond the scenes around his dying pillow, and soars away into the blessed future, where the kingdom of Christ ruleth over all.
But mark his words. First, there are no allusions to his own state. "The God of Israel said; the rock of Israel spoke to me. He that ruled' over men must be just; ruling in the fear of God." lie saw the necessity for this, as in his own case he had not always been just.
Say in the instance of his rebellious son, nor had he ruled in the fear of God in the matter of Uriah. But although he was wanting, and sadly wanting, as man ever is, both in righteousness and the fear of God, he lifts up his eyes, and sees his promised seed, One who was to spring from his loins, and his vision concerning Him is full of blessing and beauty.
" He shall be"-that wonderful He of whom prophets have spoken, and poets sung-" He shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds." When the darkness is past, when the evil birds of night have winged their way to their nests; when sin, sorrow, and corruption, under which this earth has been groaning for a long six thousand years shall all pass away, when 'He, David's Lord, and David's royal son shall take the kingdom and disperse the clouds. When evil shall vanish and its reign be over forever. When Christ the glorious One shall burst upon the astonished view' of His own people, and that, not in a mingled. scene like the present, but in a morning without clouds.
Now the brightest morning has a cloud, and the sunniest day will set in night, and storms arise and overcast the face of God's fair creation, and saints are tried, and the chilling winds of adversity blow, and believers suffer, and call upon their God who is a present help in the time of trouble, and the Lord's own people are a persecuted, oppressed, and a little-thought-of people.
But the day comes when the glorious One appears. No cloud then. Sin and death, with all their black train of horrors, will be done away, and to this epoch, dying David, by the Spirit looked, whatever might be the measure of His own apprehension of those glorious occurrences of which he speaks so beautifully. His heart is full of Christ. His tongue speaks of the glory of the God of Israel, and his language, furnishes a lesson to many who look on death, and going to Christ as the end of their hopes. But there is naught of this in the last utterances of dying David. It is glory fills his heart. It is the glory of Christ; of His reign; of His kingdom. It is His rule; His providence; His giving a new impulse to a sin delivered creation. It is not happiness at death he speaks of, although surely the saint is happy in passing away from-a world of sin and care, to a calm retreat in the presence of Christ, to abide until the resurrection morning. But that he is not occupied with, that he passes over. His faith and his hope overleap the whole distance between his dying bed, in his stately palace at Jerusalem, to a long-wished for day, sung of in Psalms, and spoken of by the prophets, when God's Christ would have it all His own way, and regenerate the creation. It would be a complete renewal, "as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain."
For just as a parched and dried up soil delights in a fertilizing shower, and the grass and herbage all bloom anew, and the dusty and rusty earth becomes green again, so shall it he at the coming of the Lord. Satan will be bound, the curse removed, sin put down by righteousness, the desert will rejoice and blossom as the rose. No longer will this be the devil's world, where he made his baleful blighting presence felt in an innumerable variety of ways, but this v, hole scene will he filled with the glory of God. And this Christ, David's Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus, lie will reign who once suffered. He will be just, and men wider His blessed sway will remember their misery no more, nor learn war any more. How delightful, perfectly so, to think of this time, the Sabbath rest of God's creation Arid now the dying saint, having spoken of the glory of Christ to us, and to his posterity, turns a glance at the condition of his own affairs. Here there were blots and blemishes. " His house was not so with God." Amnon, Absalom, Tamar. had told a sorrowful tale of lust, revenge and rebelliousness. How humbling to think what occurrences may take place in the family of a man of God.
He had not ruled in God's fear, and therefore evil broke out in his house. Mighty warrior that he was, he was too easy, too lenient within the precincts of his own dwelling. He could take towns and cities, fight battles and conquer kingdoms, but he had not planted the rule of God in his house. Hence the failure. Hence the sad fact that his house was " not so with God." Like Eli, of an earlier day, who saw his sons making themselves vile and he restrained them hot, so David, king as he was, was unable to get his children to follow in his footsteps. Sad recital, but such is man. Lenient where he ought to be severe. Rough and oppressive where he should be gentle and mild. Casting aside the fear of God on account of the fear of man, or the love of a woman, and then looking back, and having to mourn bitterly over the terrible ruin caused by his own pride and folly.
But yet God had made with David " an everlasting^ covenant, ordered in all things and sure." This covenant,' ordered of God, David's heart falls back upon in the day of his need. He feels its certainty, he adores, because, however much he may have failed and transgressed, he knew that God's covenant, God's truth would stand forever, and the God of truth had spoken certain things of David which involved a world of blessing, and these in his dying day his heart sweetly reposed upon.
So now can we, however tossed and tried, fall back on, the everlasting love of God through Christ Jesus. "Although my house be not so with God," although things are crooked in the church, or there have been dark flaws in ones own private history, yet who can separate us " from the love of Christ. Shall trials or famine, or distress" none; and then, as if that were not enough, the apostle, he goes on to challenge heaven and earth to show anything that could separate from the love of God in Christ, Jesus the Lord. Oh earth; oh hell I what can you do against a christian. His salvation is bound up with Christ. His Lord and Savior will never let him go. Ye may hurl your most fiery darts; ye may pour contempt upon his head, but he is safe in spite of all, because of the love. of God, and the precious atoning blood of Jesus.
This everlasting covenant was all David's salvation. But he turns now to the wicked ones in Israel whom he-describes as " thorns thrust away," " Sons of Belial.". And who are the sons of Belial now-a-days, but those who reject the gospel of God? They must perish. All must,, perish who do so. None can escape who neglect the salvation provided by God. Rejecting Christ fastens, a man's wickedness upon him, and he sinks into that hell which was "prepared for the devil and his angels."
Thus does David in these last words go over the bright, morning when Christ will appear, and toughies on his own, hopes; this own failures and sorrows, and the judgment of the rejecters of God in Israel. May my reader have looked into this with profit. W. G.