A SOBER ASSESSMENT
Holy Creator, I thank you for my life. I remember that this is your gift to me and that the lives of those whom I love and who love me are also part of your storehouse of gifts.
Read 2 SAMUEL 23:1-7
David’s Last Words
23 These are the last words of David:
“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,
the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High,
the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
the hero of Israel’s songs:
2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke,
the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of God,
4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings grass from the earth.’
5 “If my house were not right with God,
surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
and grant me my every desire.
6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand.
7 Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectEven the smallest thing God gives us to do for someone might impact them in a way that is remembered with gratitude for a lifetime.
This section is introduced as David’s last words, but there’s no indication in this short poem that he is on his death bed (see also 1 Kings 2:1-12). It may be that he composed it earlier in his career, and it was placed toward the end of his life.
As with all of David’s psalms, it’s a thing of literary and spiritual beauty. The imagery used and the sense of confidence in God bear all the hallmarks of David’s powerful, creative gifts. And he begins with a sober assessment of himself. He is an ordinary son of an ordinary father, but elevated to a great honor by the God of his ancestors. His anointing as king is the work of God and not of his doing (vs 1-3,5).
More than anything else, it seems, he wants to be remembered as a singer. One version of verse 1 says ‘I am Israel’s most popular singer’ (The Message). Not a statesman, military ruler, or king, but a singer of songs. I wonder how we might describe ourselves to others?
God looks at your heart and sees your impulses toward worship, prayer, and intimacy with him. He sees your relationships with others. What do these things say about you and the way you handle life?
Lord Jesus, you don’t just see me; you know me. You don’t just know me; you care for me, provide all that I need, and are with me through all of my life’s ups and downs. May your goodness to me be reflected for those you give me to love and serve.
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