Happy To Welcome You To The Hallelujah Chorus

I will exalt you my God, the King, I will praise your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise you and exalt your name forever and ever. Psalm 145:1-2

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Last Words of David

Over the years I have read and heard some of the last speeches made by some of the most revered men and women from around the world. To me the most impressive "last words" were spoken by Jesus on the cross, "It is finished". Those words were not the end but the beginning of something that would ultimately reach out to all the human family just as God had promised many thousands of years before at Genesis 12.
Then I read these words at 2 Samuel 23:1 "These are the last words of David." Maybe these literally are David's final words uttered as he drew his final breath. Or maybe they were his last recorded words. Or maybe they are the last song he sang. Whatever the case, David's last words are spoken directly to God in this final prayer of praise and thanksgiving - "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 men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth."
Every time the Holy Spirit speaks, he speaks the true, actual words of God, never some subjective interpretation.
I think David is recalling an early encounter with God that was a guiding principle for his 40 year career as the King of Israel. God certainly knew the heart of the one he had chosen to succeed Saul and he gave David a lofty vision of what a real leader is and does. That vision also showed him the result of his divine mission.
The first step for any leader, regardless of where or whom he leads, is the humbling recognition of who rules/leads him/her. American business, political, education and even church leaders are most influenced by the stock market, the voters, the bottom line, family and friends. The voice of God is generally a faint whisper in the background if at all because in politics, business and education the very mention of God or his word is forbidden lest someone be offended. God's voice is generally respected in the Christian church world if it lines up with what the leaders and/or the people want. If not, men and women tend to write new rules and propositions that may quote scripture but with subjective interpretation.
The poetic vision God gave David of the kind of leadership he expected of him has hardly gone out of style even if it may be politically incorrect in our time. But defining the phrase "in righteousness" for a skeptical generation is the sticking point. I think David knew exactly what that phrase meant and to his eternal credit, he lived by it, although at times imperfectly, right to the very end. HALLELUJAH!

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