Bible Readings for September 27th
David’s last words in 2 Samuel 23:1–7 are brief, but they are worthy of careful study. In this short speech, David gives us a summary of his reflections on his kingship—or, more precisely, Yahweh’s reflections on leadership that David prophetically speaks. In doing so, he describes the ultimate purpose for which Yahweh anointed kings in Israel: for building the kingdom of God on this earth under the ultimate Davidic king.
First, David begins his final speech with a reminder that what he says comes not as his own, personal reflections on life but as prophetic oracles of God (2 Sam. 23:1). Moreover, he insists, “The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me…” (2 Sam. 23:2–3). David’s leadership is significant because David speaks the words of God himself.
Second, after establishing that these words are prophetic oracles from God, David speaks generally of the purpose of kings, which is to rule justly. God intends for our leaders to spread justice and righteousness as a gift of common grace throughout the world, so that a just ruler “dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth” (2 Sam. 23:4), in addition to putting away the wicked from doing harm (2 Sam. 23:6–7). For those of you with authority over others, do you see your authority in terms of your power or in terms of the blessing God has called you to be?
Third, David acknowledges that his reign has served a larger, eternal purpose. He asks, “For does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire?” (2 Sam. 23:5). Through the everlasting covenant he had sworn to David in 2 Samuel 7, Yahweh was preparing and ordering the world for the coming of David’s greatest descendent, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Through Jesus, God spoke to us with finality (Heb. 1:1–4), revealing the fullness of himself through the Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Through Jesus, God will restore justice—and not merely for one lifetime, but Jesus will restore justice for the rest of eternity. Jesus will serve as the righteous ruler whose justice shines like the sun and nourishes like the rain. Jesus, however, will also go so far as to remake creation itself to heal the world’s brokenness so that we may dwell here with God for all eternity. Put your hope not in David but in the Son of David who is coming again to save you on the last day.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.