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David's Final Words

Daily Devotional 2 Samuel 23: 1-39

A person’s final words carry special significance. Often people record the last words of famous individuals. Sometimes these are humorous. Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman is reported to have said, “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.” Sometimes they are sublime. As Beethoven was breathing his last, he declared, “I will hear in heaven.”

He is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.

2 SAMUEL 23:4

Today’s reading records David’s last words (v. 1). They are not the last words of David in Scripture. We’ll read his words later in the book, but the narrator intentionally included his final statement here. His final words were a prophetic utterance that described his reign in idealized terms while looking forward to a coming Messianic King. David was not trying to whitewash his reign. The book of 2 Samuel is painfully honest about his shortcomings and failures. One commentator said that this poem portrays “David as he should always have been, not as he always was.” His words point to a future Son of David who will fulfill this vision of kingship.

David begins by acknowledging God’s empowerment for his rule. He has been “exalted by the Most High” and “anointed by the God of Jacob” (v. 1). God is the one who had given him success.

He declares that the work of a king is to rule “in righteousness” and “in the fear of God” (v. 3). When a king like that is on the throne, the people thrive. It is like the sun after a rain, which makes the grass grow and flourish (v. 4). Finally, he celebrates the covenant God made with him (v. 5). This was a solemn promise that David’s “throne will be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16).

>> All of these promises have been fulfilled in the Lord Jesus. When Jesus proclaimed, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12), He alluded to today’s Scripture passage. Thank God in prayer that He has kept His promises to David.

Pray with Us

Oh God, thank You for Your promises to David! We now know that Your blessings for his good also promised good for all nations through the blood of David’s descendant, Jesus.

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