Last Words & Reflections of Israel's Beloved King
1 Kings 2:1-12; 2 Samuel 22:1-23:7; 1 Chronicles 29:26-28
Prayer: Lord, today's passage seems particularly precious as we read the last words of Israel's beloved King David the "man after God's own heart". To read of his earthly life coming to an end brings sorrow, but David more than most understood that this wasn't an end but an eternal beginning in Your presence. Help us to take David's last words to heart, to understand his heart & in doing so to understand Yours.
Quickly Form Groups:
1. If you discovered today you were about to die:
- who would you want to spend time with?
- what would you want to say to those you were leaving behind?
- what regrets would you have about things left undone in your life?
Your answers to those are definitely a reflection of who you are & your personality type. If you want to spend time with many people or only a few, how many words & what you would want to say, what regrets you have. This is how I answered the questions I gave you:
- I would want to spend time with my Husband, my Son, and my Mom.
- I would want to say "I Love You" & remind each that our separation is temporary.
- I would regret not being more bold about sharing my faith.
I wouldn't have a lot to say, though perhaps I'd blog philosophically & leave all of you with some things to think about.
David had a few more things he wanted cleared up before he left this life, and some words for people to ponder. God graciously has preserved many of David's words, so let's see what the "man after God's heart" had to say before he departed.
1 Kings 2:1-9 - David's final words to Solomon encourage him to be a man, to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord so that their family may continue to benefit from the blessings of the Lord. I really sense the heart of a father in him in these words.
David goes on to remind him to be wise & to deal wisely with a few particular people:
- Joab - he is to be dealt with in Solomon's wisdom because of the murders of Abner & Amasa, David makes it clear Joab should not be allowed to live out his years in peace but leaves the actual sentence in Solomon's hands.
- Shimei - David is a bit more direct with Shimei, and I get the sense that he's learned more about this man's character since he vowed not to kill him. Shimei is not innocent & David knows in, and he leaves the job of carrying out the sentence against him to Solomon.
- Barzillai - This is someone who's family David wants to make sure is recognized & blessed. Barzillai was the old man who helped David when he was on the run from Absalom. David wants Solomon to be good to this family that has been good to theirs.
2 Samuel 23:1-7 - A final poem or song by David. In it we hear him testify to God's goodness & how God has worked in his own life, and he ends with a warning to those who would choose evil over God's goodness. To the end David continued to express his heart for God.
1 Chronicles 29:26-28 & 1 Kings 2:10-12 - David had been Israel's king for 40 years, and we read he is buried in the City of David.
What is the City of David? Both Jerusalem & Bethlehem are called the "City of David":
- Bethlehem is his historical birthplace & the area that his family lived in.
- Jerusalem is the city he conquered & set up as the royal seat of power in Israel.
History teaches us that David's tomb is on Mount Zion, which would be Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 22 - I expect that this Psalm (or song) written by David is included right before the record of David's last words as a means to memorialize David. I expect that if David had lived & died today in our culture this would be the final song at his funeral, a way to remember who he was & how he lived & what he believed.
I'd like you to take some time and look over this chapter quietly, treat it like you would if you were attending David's funeral. Take time to reflect on who David is, but more importantly take time to reflect on who God is.
Closing Prayer: God we thank you for how you have preserved the record of David's life, for the many lessons we can learn from him, and for Your faithfulness shown through his life. Help each of us to be men & women after your own heart. Amen!
Quickly Form Groups Again:
2. When you die:
- how would you like to be remembered?
- how would you like your life to impact future generations?
3. Pray for each other.