II Samuel 23:1-7 – Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday – for Sunday, November 25, 2012
“Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse…” (II Samuel 23:1)
Now these are the last words of David . . .
Thus begins the twenty-third chapter of II Samuel. David the King was “the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel.”
David the human was also a fool, sheepherder, petty, virile, vulnerable, devious, brilliant, Goliath-slayer, Uriah-killer, lustful and yet devoted to the “God of Jacob.” Based on the diverse stories of his life, the shepherd-king arguably possessed the best and worst qualities of a leader of Israel.
Anyone familiar with the Bible knows him well. We are astounded as at the heroics of the ruddy-cheeked lad Samuel the prophet blessed as we are offended when the mature David leered through a palace window and craved the pleasures of Bathsheba.
So read what II Samuel claimed are his final utterances before the nation mourned the old king and welcomed Solomon, the new king. Did David declare everything the chapter claimed? Were any of those eloquent (and long-winded) sentences truly what he said before a last breath?
Final words can fascinate.*
Henry Ward Beecher, the 19th Century preacher . . . “Now comes the mystery.”
Grover Cleveland, the American president . . . “I have tried so hard to do the right.”
Robert E. Lee, Civil War general . . . “Strike the tent.” Continue reading →