Sunday, April 8, 2012

2 Samuel 23:1-7

1 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 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke,
the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of God,
4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings grass from the earth.’
5 “If my house were not right with God,
surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
and grant me my every desire.
6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand.
7 Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.”

Points of Interest
  • ‘when he rules in the fear of God’--David was a fearless king. He faced enemies who seemed much stronger than him, constant war, insurrection, even plague; and he never flinched. His only fear was a fear of God. It’s not so much that he was scared of God, as that he deeply respected God. And he valued his relationship with God. He knew the one thing that would allow him to survive everything else was maintaining his deep connection with God.
  • ‘surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation’--I wonder if David has in mind a particular episode of trouble from which God saved him, was thinking of all of his troubles as a unit, or is looking forward to a further rescue even beyond death.
  • ‘thorns, which are not gathered with the hand’--you don’t grasp on to a thorn; you drop it as soon as you feel the prick. God never dropped David. Since God held David firmly in God’s hand his entire life, David can go to the grave with a clean conscience, knowing that God loved him and was pleased with him.
Taking it Home
  • For you: David takes time at the end of his life to recount what he has learned and what his relationship with God has been like. Take time today to reflect on Lent and write down a summary of how it was for you. What have you been praying for? What were highlights of things God did? What were you disappointed about? What have you learned during this time? How have you grown? Ask God to show you what he would like you to take away from this season and carry over into the next.
  • For your six: Pray today that your six would one day have a story like David’s of how they came to know, trust, and love God. Ask God to show himself to your six today. Pray that the story of Easter would be captivating, make sense, and be something that draws your six towards God.
  • For our church: Thank God for what he has done in our church during Lent. Pray that we would grow closer to God and see God more clearly than we ever have before. Pray that our church would have the same confidence in and joy of God’s presence as David articulated in some of his last days in Psalm 108:1-5:
“My heart is confident in you, O God;
no wonder I can sing your praises!
Wake up my soul!
Wake up, O harp and lyre!
I will waken the dawn with my song.
I will thank you, Lord, in front of all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.”
  • For families: What has Lent been like for your family? What are things you have seen God do? Look back to your posters, if you made any, at what you have been praying for, at what God has done and what you think he might be calling your family to do as a project. What do you notice as you look back at these things? Can you see ways that individuals in your family have grown in their relationship with God in this time? Can you see ways you have grown? Are there things you want to make sure you take as you move into the next season of your life? Find a way to write this down or make this concrete in some way. Spend some time sharing and wrapping up this time together. Listen together to God and see what God has to say about this time for you as a family.