Sunday, October 22, 2023

King David's Last Words

Have you had a loved die? Did you have the chance to have a final conversation with them?  And do you remember the last words they spoke to you?  Or the last words they gave, period? 

It's a way of communicating something very important, as your last statement to the Earth. One of the most famous last words given were those of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. They both died on July 4th, the anniversary of the American revolution. John Adams last words were, "Thomas Jefferson lives!" And Thomas Jefferson's last words were, "Is it the fourth?"

Famous atheist and founder of the church of Satan Anton Lavey's last words were, "Oh my, oh my, what have I done? Something is wrong..." 

I recall my Grandpa Steckbauer's last words to me, in 2009 were a challenge to me, I was in my twenties, and he said to me, something a judge had said to me in a court room. He said, "Justin, remember what the judge said: You're walking on thin ice." 

I was angry at the time when he said that. But later, I realized he was right.

My grandma Check, near the end she kept falling asleep, and waking up, and she would look over at my aunt Kelly, and ask her, "Am I heaven now?" She even asked my aunt Kelly why she was in the room. She asked if she had died too! But grandma knew where she was going. She was going to heaven. She saw a little girl in the room as well. She thought it might've been an angel. No one else could see it. But it may have been a daughter she'd had, her first child, who was a miscarriage. 

I wonder what my last words will be! What will your last words be? What would you want to communicate to your family and friends?

Right now we're going to look at what King David felt was most important in all his life and history to communicate to his people and family about who God is. 

I think it goes all the way back to the beginning. David's beginnings were very humble. 

There was a young man named David who cared for a few sheep of his father. He was the youngest of all his brothers. When the whole family was called for an important meeting with a religious leader David was the only one they didn’t invite.

All these years later, we see David an old man, hair turned white, beard gone gray, wrinkled and tired, laying in bed, unable to keep warm.

King David has setup his son Solomon to become king after him. He has given him a charge in his last words to Solomon about how he should reign.

Now King David is dying. He’s surrounded by his family. And he’s going to give his last words to his family, to the nation, and to us today.

But first we get this summary of David’s life from the writer of 2nd Samuel.

It says this in 2nd Samuel 23:1, “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…”

We find here the inspired utterance of David. What that means is the author agrees that the words of David given here were inspired by God himself.

First point today, God can use you as well to bring forth inspired utterance. In other words, God will speak through you if you let Him.

When you’re talking with someone whose struggling, pause a moment and ask God for the right words. Then trust in your heart that he’ll provide them. Then, as you talk with this person, God will bring just the right words out of your mouth, to touch their heart.

And you’ll sense in that moment that it was from God. And so will they. All of us do this from time to time without realizing it. The closer we are spiritually with God, the more it will happen I think.

The most extreme and amazing version of this, as an inspired utterance, is the prophetic person, who gives you a word from God for your future.

David was also, it says, "exalted" by the Most High God. This is the idea of being promoted to a higher position. He was given authority. He was shown before all to be trusted by God.

Second point today, God will at times exalt you, and at times he will humble you. If you show your faithfulness to God, he will exalt you, if you resist God and act pridefully, then he’ll humble you.

David was exalted by God, yet he was also anointed by God. He was prepared by him for all he had for him to do. God spoke truth over him through Samuel the prophet. And the author also says, David was the hero of the songs of Israel. That’s certainly true, most of the psalms are written by David in the book of Psalms!

Next we actually get to what David said, as he lay dying, an old man in his bed.

His last words were: “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue. 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, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’”

King David actually quotes something God whispered to him in the past here. God apparently made it clear to David, if you do two things, you will be successful as a leader of Israel.

One, rule over people in righteousness. What that means is you’ll be careful to make the right decisions that are morally correct. You will do righteousness, which is pure. Do the right thing even when it’s hard.

Two, rule in the fear of the Lord. This means David really did fear God. That is by the way, the ultimate secret to living a successful Christian life. You tremble before God and know God is for real. You fear God, you are actually afraid of God, and then when you’re tempted to sin, you tremble at God, and say no, I better not do that.

If you want to learn the fear of the Lord, I recommend this: Go on YouTube and look up some hell testimonies from Christians who have seen hell. Watching those testimonies will bring a fear of the Lord into your life.

God says, rule in those two ways ,righteously and in the fear of God, and your leadership will be like a beautiful morning at sun rise. On a cloudless morning. Like a the brightness after rain, that brings grass.

So your leadership will be like the sun in the sky, bright shining warmth, and it will be like the brightness of the sun after a long rain, and now everything is growing because of the rain.

Point number three, make your decisions in righteousness, and fear God, and you’ll be like a bright warm sun to those around you. You’ll be a blessing wherever you go. If you’d you’ll be a curse to those around you.

Then it verse 5 David continues, “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.”

David here reflects on how God has been faithful to his covenant agreement with David. A secure covenant, an everlasting covenant that God would be with David and protect David and help David in his times of need. And God fully practiced his side of the covenant and was with David through everything. We've seen that time and again in David's life, God was always with Him! And if you love Jesus, and follow Jesus, God will always be with you. 

David knows he is saved. He says God has brought to fruition his salvation. He knows where he is going.

And he also says God has granted his every desire. God satisfied David’s desires. And we can trust God will do the same for us.

Point number four, like David, if you’ve followed God faithfully, you can know your salvation is secure. I hope and pray that when each of you are old and gray in your bed getting close to death, that you would know that Jesus has paid your sins, and that you’re on your way to paradise.

So verse five was David celebrating and rejoicing in all God has done and that he is on his way to heaven. But then in verses 6-7 we see David leave all those around him with one final warning:

It says, “But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns, which are not gathered with the hand. Whoever touches thorns uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear; they are burned up where they lie.”

So David affirms that he is headed to heaven. But he also hints at the fate of those who are evil. They will go down to the pit of hell.

Evil men will be dealt with by a holy God. They will not be gathered up. But will be thrown down. He compares it to thorns, they are not gathered, but they burned where they lay.

So David confirms for us, that heaven is real and hell is real. Both are very real.

Point number five today, there will be rewards for the righteous in Christ, and damnation for those who continue on in evil. Sin leads to hell. And the hell will be tortured for all time, in a place of fire. The righteous in Christ will live eternally in heaven. Those are the two destinations, there is not a third option. Heaven in Christ, or hell without Christ. End of story.

So to review today...

Our Five Points were:

1. God will speak through you if you let Him.

2. God will at times exalt you, and at times he will humble you.

3. Make your decisions in righteousness, and fear God, and you’ll be like a bright warm sun to those around you.

4. If you’ve followed God faithfully, you can know your salvation is secure

5. There will be rewards for the righteous in Christ, and damnation for those who continue on in evil.