Famous Last Words
Have you ever wondered what people said the moment they knew that death was imminent? I am curious about that. According to Business Insider, these are some examples of famous people’s last words:
Nostradamus predicted, “Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here.” He was right. Joe Dimagio said, ”I finally get to see Marilyn again.” (Referring to his beloved ex-wife, Marilyn Monroe.) Winston Churchill’s son-in-law offered him a glass of champagne, and Churchill replied, ”I’m just so bored with it all.” And finally, former Beetle George Harrison: ”Love one another.” That will preach, George.
Today’s Scripture takes a look at the last words of King David, as recorded in 2 Samuel:
2 Samuel 23 (Common English Bible)
23 These are David’s last words:
This is the declaration of Jesse’s son David,
the declaration of a man raised high,
a man anointed by the God of Jacob,
a man favored by the strong one of Israel.
2 The Lord’s spirit speaks through me;
his word is on my tongue.
3 Israel’s God has spoken,
Israel’s rock said to me:
“Whoever rules rightly over people,
whoever rules in the fear of God,
4 is like the light of sunrise
on a morning with no clouds,
like the bright gleam after the rain
that brings grass from the ground.”
David made many mistakes in his life, and yet at the end, he was reconciled to God. His words about ”ruling rightly” were hard fought and hard won. He learned through his errors what it meant to rule rightly. As he was looking toward the next generations of leaders, he likened them to the light of the sunrise and the bright gleam after the rain … as long as they were ruling in the fear of God. Listen now to his words of appreciation and the acknowledgement of God’s faithfulness in keeping his part of the covenant, even when David had failed:
5 Yes, my house is this way with God!
He has made an eternal covenant with me,
laid out and secure in every detail.
Yes, he provides every one of my victories
and brings my every desire to pass.
David lived a turbulent life, but he died in the peaceful security of the eternal covenant God had made with him. He relished the security he found in his restored relationship with God, and credits God with every good thing that happened in his life. Then he ends with a warning, perhaps one born of his own experience of thorniness:
6 But despicable people are like thorns,
all of them good for nothing,
because they can’t be carried by hand.
7 No one can touch them,
except with iron bar or the shaft of a spear.
They must be burned up with fire right on the spot!
If David can be redeemed, so can we. If David can be restored, so can we. If David can die with gratitude and security, so can we.
Have you grown thorny? It is never too late to return to your eternal covenant with God. If a despicable, adulterous murderer can come back to God, so can we. Thanks be to God!