In my Bible reading the other day I came near the end of 2 Samuel at Chapter 23. It begins "These are David's last words" followed by them of course.
My mind fell off the mountain of Biblical thought I was climbing. (I only climb rather small ones now.) It (my mind) began to think about what my last words would be if I were called upon to write them down. It sounds like my mind has a mind of its own doesn't it, entirely separate from my will? Sometimes I think it does, too, because I try to corral it and it just seems unmanageable at times.
That might have been an instance just now.
If my mind weren't connected to my mouth these episodes might be less stressful.
I think it is not the very last words of David but more likely the last written words. Probably it is like when several of us have stopped blogging and written our final posts on those blogs. Except they didn't exactly have blogging back then in David's time. And it was final before death. And he knew it. I am pretty sure I would stop blogging at least a few days in advance of my final breath.
That made me wonder about that time when I know that my life is concluding here on Earth. If I do know which is certainly not assured.
What would I say?
Partly it depends upon how long before my demise. And partly how I feel.
Of course unlike David I am not a king.
But I am the first son of my family. We do have a family business that will hopefully continue beyond my death. If I knew I were nearing death I think I would like to pass along a few things to my brother and my son especially about the family business. I would want my daughter and her husband and my grandchildren to know these things as well but I would be especially concerned about my son and brother because the mantle of leadership would fall more heavily on their shoulders.
That's what King David's "last words" seem like to me, too. His family business was being king. So I think as much as anything this is a little note for Solomon who would be King after David.
I think the actual message starts at verse 2. And I think that part is where David declares that he was called by God into his position. He makes the point that it was not just his calling but his family's calling. That's an important part.
Because of God's calling there are benefits to the family. But there are responsibilities, too.
I want my family to know that very same thing and to remember it and to honor and revere God.
Verse 3 also stakes out the high standard of righteous conduct and living and worship that David desires for his descendants. And that begins with reverence. I would encourage that, too.
Verse 4 is a reminder that God is the great provider. We need that reminder every day.
Verse 5 attests to the utter dependence we have on God for our salvation and our lives. David's family is certainly a good negative example in a lot of ways. But it is good to remember that we are all sinners. Some of us are bigger sinners than others but not by so much really. If we're getting through it will not be by our own efforts. If all my own children and grandchildren learn just that single fact I would be delighted.
Verse 6-7 is a warning to watch the relationships you make. That's a good one. It is really easy to fall in with bad companions especially for leaders who have lonely jobs just by nature of the position.
Then the rest of David's last words has to do with his mighty men. These were his trusted comrades, his loyal to the bone friends. These were people that could be depended upon. Leaders have to have those they trust and those who prove trustworthy. David names a few and tells why they are so trusted by him. I know some people like that and I think that's advice I could pass along as well.
That's how I see it at least.