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KINGS WHO FEARED THE LORD

Daily Devotional 2 Samuel 23:1–7


Watching the sun rise is a worship-filled experience. God paints the morning sky daily with spectacular shades of purple, red, and gold. If we’re watching the sun rise over the ocean, a woodland lake, or a snow-topped mountain, the effect is even more breathtaking.


When he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise.

2 SAMUEL 23:3–4


David said that a godly king is a beautiful blessing to his people, like a sunrise after a rain on a cloudless morning (vv. 3–4). Such a king “rules in the fear of God,” that is, he governs righteously and in trust and dependence on the “Rock of Israel.” He knows that he, the human king, is not the bottom line. The real Ruler is God. If he remembers and acts like this, then he’s the blessing described above. These were David’s “last words,” meaning the most important thing he wanted to say before he died, and the most important legacy he wanted to leave for his son Solomon (vv. 1–2).


David also reminded Solomon that God made a covenant with their house because they’d been “right with God,” not because they deserved it (v. 5; 2 Sam. 7:16). God received all the credit and glory, even, and especially, from the king. This, too, shows his fear of the Lord.


Evil kings, on the other hand, are like thorns, to be cast aside and burned in the fire (vv. 6–7). They do not fear the Lord and are not a blessing to their people. They disappear without a trace. Sadly, the books of Kings and Chronicles are mostly a downward-spiraling record of such men. Godly rulers, such as Hezekiah and Jehoshaphat, stand out by contrast.


Fear of the Lord in leadership, then, includes faith, dependence, and submission to Him, as well as awe, reverence, and obedience. Authority is a responsibility to be stewarded for the good of others.


Go Deeper


What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind? Why? What life choices are you making to help make this happen? Where is the fear of the Lord in all this?


Pray with Us:


As we learn about the kings who feared the Lord, let’s pray for our national, local, and church leaders. Lord, we pray for the godly fear to rule in their lives, their deeds, and their decisions. You can change the heart of every leader.

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