Lessons Learned in a Lifetime

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Samuel 23:1 (NIV)
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…

2 Samuel 23:1(MSG)
These are David’s last words:
The voice of the son of Jesse, the voice of the man God took to the top, whom the God of Jacob made king, and Israel’s most popular singer!
*************************************
“Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares,
the man who was raised on high declares, the anointed of the God of Jacob,and the sweet psalmist of Israel…” -AMPLIFIED

These last words of David are actually his last words of song; his last poetical composition. We can understand this when we actually look at the words written and how they are written. A person’s last words hold special significance, so let us look at David’s last words of poetry.

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,
Is like the morning light when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the fresh grass springs out of the earth
Through sunshine after rain.’
Truly is not my house so [blessed] with God?
For He has made an everlasting covenant with me,
Ordered in all things, and secured.
For will He not cause to grow and prosper
All my salvation and my every wish?
Will He not make it grow and prosper?
But the wicked and worthless are all to be thrown away like thorns,
Because they cannot be taken with the hand;
But the man who touches them
Must be armed with iron and the shaft of a spear,
And they are utterly burned and consumed by fire in their place.” -2 Samuel 23:1-7 (AMP)

Let us notice something; even in David’s last days his thoughts were on his Creator and Lord. Also, this short piece of poetry condenses David’s viewpoint of his God into a nutshell. Everything that David had learned and experienced in his lifetime is summed up here. David had learned these things:

1.) God can speak personally to each of us.
2.) God can also speak through each of us.
3.) Those who rule with justice and the fear of the Lord are like the morning light.
4.) It is God who blesses each of us and our households.
5.) God can make a personal covenant with each of us.
6.) The wicked will one day receive their reward.
7.) Steer clear of those who refuse to do things God’s way or be burned.

Do you remember those humble beginnings that David started from? A young shepherd boy, the youngest in the family, definitely a man of no great standing; yet God lifted him up to become the leader of a great nation. And because of David’s willingness to do things God’s way that nation became greater. The balled that David say was, “I Did it God’s Way”; and that was why he was so successful.

We are not quite finished with David’s life. We will continue to look at his closing days over the coming days. Let us focus on the fact that David’s heart was in tune with God. No, he was not a perfect man. Yes, he did sin. BUT, he was a man after God’s own heart.

Pastor Ron Edmondson, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, compiled these ten reasons why David was a man after God’s own heart. “The following words describe the heart of David as seen in his own writings:
Humble – Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Psalm 62:9
Reverent – I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:3
Respectful – Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9
Trusting – The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Loving – I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1
Devoted – You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7
Recognition – I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. Psalm 9:1
Faithful – Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6
Obedient – Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34
Repentant – For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11 (All verses New International Version)”

David’s life example is a great road map for how we also are to live our lives for God. David’s anthem was this:
“God is a safe place to hide,
ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.” -Psalm 46:1-3 (MSG)

My Prayer:
God, help me learn from those life lessons that you have allowed to come my way. Help me to keep my heart and mind in tune with you at all times; so that when you are speaking to me I hear you. Let your justice take center stage in my life and may I obediently follow your direction. Lord, you are my safe place; my ever present help in times of trouble. Thank you, Lord!

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