David’s Last Words

Sometimes the most memorable words a person utters are his last words.  This may be becaseu they are his last, or because they are the reflection of a lifetime.  David (whom we have been studying on Wed. night) had a long life of serving God. No doubt his last words had a rich background of reflection and introspection.

  • Acts 13:22- “And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”
  • King David was a mighty man of war, a king who conquered his enemies. His rose to prominence through the chants of the people, “Saul has killed his thousands, David his ten-thousands”. But in the end we most remember David for his intimate relationship with Jehovah God. This may be because David so eloquently revealed the thoughts of his heart in his Psalms. He was a man after God’s heart. When I think of David I think of words like sincere, dedicated, committed, willing. We are going to study David’s last words and see how they exhibit David’s heart to us. In these words we will find our admonition.

I.   David’s Plans for God’s House: 1 Chronicles 28:1-3  Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel: the officers of the tribes and the captains of the divisions who served the king, the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officials, the valiant men, and all the mighty men of valor.2 Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it.3 But God said to me ,’You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood.‘ David’s hearts desire was to build the permanent resting place for Ark of the Covenant. But God cancelled his plans. As difficult as this must have been to accept David listened carefully to what God said about the matter and saw the blessing in God’s plans.

A.  David’s Spiritual Heritage: Even though David would not build the physical temple, God had given him a greater spiritual heritage through his son, Solomon.  1 Chron 28:4-7 4 However the LORD God of Israel chose me above all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever, for He has chosen Judah to be the ruler. And of the house of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father, He was pleased with me to make me king over all Israel. 5 And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. 6 Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. 7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.’ Solomon’s temple is gone, but David’s spiritual house remains.

II.   David’s Charge to the People: “in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord” Seeing clearly God’s intentions and what God valued most David give his last instructions:  1 Chron 28:8 8 Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, be careful to seek out all the commandments of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land, and leave it as an inheritance for your children after you forever. He admonishes Israel to “carefully seek out” the commandments of God. What does that mean? Were God’s instructions hard to find or understand?

A.  The original language suggests a twofold admonition here, as indicated in the NASV translation: 1 Chron 28:8  8 “So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the LORD your God in order that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever. NAS.

1.  There is a need to seek after (inquire concerning, look for guidance and care from). This reflects the place of trust or faith. David uses this term 5 times in Psalm 119 to indicate “placing trust in”. Ps 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. Vs.10 10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

2. The word “observe” here means to “keep or narrowly follow, take heed” This is obedience, but not just casual observance, but a strict following of everything that God commands. God called on Israel to “keep” the covenant, to “keep” the commandments, to “observe” the feasts and the law.

3.  This personal commitment was the only way to secure the promises of God for the good of their children and grandchildren.

III.  David’s Charge to His Son: “As for you my son, Solomon” – Do you think that David had much on his heart at this time? What could he say to his son to prepare him for such an important task? It was the task that he himself had prepared to do, but could not complete.

A.  Some have suggested that Chronicles portrays David as a second Moses and Solomon as a second Joshua. Notice the similarities:

Moses & David:

  • In spite of many achievements neither Moses nor David finished what they desired. Moses did not lead the people into the Promised Land, nor did David build the temple.
  • In both cases it was God who prohibited them from completing the work.

Joshua & Solomon

  • both chosen privately and declared the support of all the people;
  • both received the support of the people without resistance or opposition;
  • both were magnified by God;
  • both led God’s people into “rest.”

Notice the similarities in what their predecessors told them:

  • Moses to Joshua: Deuteronomy 31:6 6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  • David to Solomon: 1 Chronicles 28:20 – 20 And David said to his son Solomon,”Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God — my God — will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.

 

B.  David’s  Admonitions:  1 Chron 28:9-10 9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. 10 Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”

1.  “Know the God of your father”This is what every father ought to be able to say to his son. David appealed to his son on the basis of his own faith and obedience. Can you honestly ask this of you child? Will he be able to recognize the God you serve? notice in vs. 20 as he specifically calls him to be courageous, David call Jehovah emphatically “my God”.

a.  The word for know here is common (over 1,000 occurrences in the O.T.). It means to know something either through 1) reflection (observation) or 2) experience. I can look outside and know it I raining (Noah knew the waters had abated by observation). I can also step outside and experience the rain – deeper level of knowledge.

b. David’s use of the term “know the Lord” involves more than just knowledge of God’s laws, but invokes a close relationship with God Himself. Jamieson says it is experimental acquaintance with God which is only to be obtained by loving and serving Him.  Vine also says…”To know” God is to have an intimate experiential knowledge of Him. So Pharaoh denies that he knows Jehovah Ex 5:2 or that he recognizes His authority over him. Positively “to know” God is paralleled to fear Him.   Hosea calls on Israel to know the Lord because they are betrothed (engaged) to Him.  Hos 6:6 6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. They were to experience God through obedience. God must be our life. We must grow close to Him through our willingness to trust and obey Him everyday.

c.  To Know God is to obey Him. – 1 John 2:3-5 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

d. To Know God is to Give Up Everything Else for Him: Phil 3:7-11 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

  • This is not those who try the Christian life for a month and then throw up their hands. “I tried that once, and it didn’t work for me.   2 Tim 1:12 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

2.  Serve Him with a loyal (whole) heart – The man after God’s own heart counsels his son to serve God from the heart. Do it sincerely. Don’t play at it. Why?

a.  Because God searches (seeks – same word as in verse 8)  the heart. God looks to fnd your motives and your sincerity.

b.  The concept here is completeness, or exclusive devotion.  Do not divide your affections. God is a jealous God. Jesus declared an absolute exclusiveness to our devotion; Matt 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Solomon failed to follow his father’s counsel: 1 Kings 11:4 4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.

 

3. Serve Him with a willing mind. – the word “willing” means to delight in, take pleasure in. Solomon was to learn to delight in serving God. Do you want to do the things of God?  David calls on Solomon to consider what God has chosen him to do, and be willing to take on the task. No task can be rightfully engaged in unwillingly or grudgingly or by compulsion. The Macedonians first gave of themselves – 2 Cor. 8:5; Jesus recognized the willing heart of the poor widow who put in much less than others, but gave all that she had.  2 Cor 8:12For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

a.  How will you ignore this responsibility that he has placed in your hand?

4.  Be Strong – the word used means fortified or impenetrable. The same word is used to describe Pharaoh’s heart in his unwillingness to let the Israelites leave Egypt. He could not be swayed, he was hard. So Solomon is to be strong and not allow things to turn him aside or persuade him otherwise. Are you spiritually fickled? Easy distracted by minor obstacles?

5.  Do it – The last admonition is the simplest and most direct. Just do it. What good are intentions without work? Build this house. As we look at or personal responsibilities we must get down to the doing of it.

  • James 2:14-1714 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Conclusion:  David’s last words to the people and his son reflect the lessons that he had learned from giving his heart to God.  He was ready to step aside and allow his son to take his place as king. The most important thing was now the most important thing.  Serve God.

  • Later his son wrote in what may have been some of his last  words:  Eccl 12:13-14 –  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.  14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.