David Chapter 15
Considering that verses 1 through 9 are David's last words, I think it would be proper if we copied them verbatim from The Word of God, They are, "Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel. Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet. Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace. But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother. And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood"(1 Kings 2:1-9).
David's Charge to Solomon
How long David lived after making Solomon king is not stated, but it was probably only a few months. His charge to Solomon concerning certain individuals was not that of a revengeful, private person but, rather, the judicial act of a chief magistrate conscious of his responsibility when handing over his office to his successor. David pointed out to Solomon that success lay only in close adherence and full subjection to the written Word of God. That has not changed from then until now. David was proclaiming the fact that Joab was a murderer, meaning that he was stained with innocent blood, blood which cried to Heaven for vengeance (Genesis 4:10). The Lord had, no doubt, told David what was to be done as it regarded Joab. As The Holy Spirit gave directions of judgment concerning Joab and Shimei, as well, he gave directions of blessing concerning the sons of Barzillai. The old man had helped David when David was in dire straits. David never forgot it, telling us that The Holy Spirit never forgets anything, good or bad, with the exception of sins that are washed in The Blood of The Lamb. David's words were not inspired by malice or cruelty but, rather, for the sake of the kingdom of God. These men so named in judgment had no regard for God or the ways of The Lord, so they had to be dealt with, or they would have caused grievous problems shortly.
The Word of The Lord
The charge that David gave to his son, Solomon, was not merely words of advice. Actually, it was The Word of The Lord. In other words, David was telling Solomon what The Lord told him to give his son. The charge was fivefold:
Was David Lacking in Mercy?
No. Many take umbrage at these instructions given by David to Solomon saying they exhibit a cruel, vindictive, and treacherous spirit, but such an accusation is unjust. The truth is personal animosity is altogether absent regarding David's statements. With respect to Joab, he never mentioned his murder of Absalom but only of his having slain Abner and Amasa. We might quickly add, Joab did this in cold blood and was never punished for it. As well, there is no indication that he ever repented to The Lord regarding these acts. In the case of Shimei, what David did was in the interest of the people of Israel, even as the future would bear out. These passages picture David as a type of Christ, acting in grace during this present dispensation. Solomon represents Christ reigning in righteousness and establishing judgment and justice in all the earth, which Our Lord will, no doubt, do at the Second Coming. So, all that we are reading here is far more than some of the final words of David. They reach much further than the significance of the moment.
David's Final Months
The death of David did not follow immediately this charge given to Solomon, as some might think. We find from 1 Chronicles Chapters 23 through 29 that the aged king recovered sufficient strength to leave his sickbedand to gather around him the princes of Israel (1 Chronicles 23:2), to whom he gave instructions regarding the services of the Sanctuary, etc. He even addressed the large assembly respecting the erection and adornment of the temple. Pulpit says, "And once more in strains which are among the noblest and sweetest which the sweet singer of Israel ever penned, he '...blessed the LORD before all the congregation...' " (1 Chronicles 29). So, the events of Chapter 1 of 1 Kings are separated by perhaps several months from the events of Chapter 2. During those several months, David gave a greater inaugural installation of Solomon as king accompanied by many sacrifices. The Scripture says, "And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:" (1 Chronicles 29:21). So, as we will see, David was called by God when he was only a shepherd tending the sheep, for that is what Christ was and is to us. As he goes out, he does so on the strength and power of the shed blood of The Lamb, the one who would be called, "The Son of David". Solomon was probably about 20 years old at the time.
"So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem. Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly" (1 Kings 2:10-12). So died one of the greatest men of God who ever lived. David wrote over half the Psalms. In some ways, he filled the offices of prophet, priest, and king. He was a type of Christ, and his successor would ultimately be called "The Son of David" and then "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS". Despite the sins, faults, and failures, his heart was ever after God. As previously stated, David's name was the first human name in the New Testament (Matthew 1:1) and the last human name in the New Testament (Revelation 22:16). During the great Kingdom Age to come, under The Lord Jesus Christ, David will, once again, rule in Israel in all of her glory, fulfilling the great prophecies that were given to him by Nathan the Prophet. Actually, in the coming Kingdom Age under Christ, David will reign in Jerusalem for one thousand years. As David was a type of Christ, Who brought salvation to Israel and the world, likewise, Solomon is a type of Christ, Who will reign over an established kingdom with all enemies defeated in what is known as the "Kingdom Age" or the "Millennial Reign". However, it must ever be remembered that David and Solomon were but types, poor, frail, human types at that and ultimately always failed. Nevertheless, the One to Whom they pointed, The Lord Jesus Christ, has never failed and, in fact, will never fail.
David, the Sweet Singer of Israel
As it regards anyone who is an avid Bible student, it is easily observable that the Bible nowhere glosses over the sins and failures and the wrongdoing of believers. in fact, all of the victories and failures are given to us "for our instruction" (Romans 15:4). The Word of God serves not only for encouragement but also a warning and rightly so. The sin of David in the matter of Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah, actually his murder, presents a cardinal instance of this. As is obvious, at least when it is studied carefully, The Holy Spirit pulled no punches, laying it out for the blot that it really is, actually a serious stain on a character otherwise consecrated to the Glory of God. Unfortunately, that terrible sin was not the only failure on the part of David. But still, he stood out as a bright and shining light of the Glory of God.
One of the Greatest Men of God Who Ever Lived
The New Bible Dictionary says of David, "His accomplishments were many and varied, a man of action, poet, tender lover, generous foe, stern dispenser of judgment, loyal friend. He was all of that, fine, wholesome and admirable in man. And this was by the will of God, Who made him and shaped him forHisdestiny." As much as satan attempted to do so, and despite David's failures, it must be said of David that he was one of the greatest men of God who ever lived. He was the youngest son of Jesse of the tribe of Judah and the second king of Israel. He was chosen through the Prophet Samuel directly by God. It is my feeling, as well, that The Lord meant for David to be the first king of Israel. In Scripture, the name that stands alone, typifying the unique place he has as ancestor, forerunner, and foreshadower of The Lord Jesus Christ – "Great David's Greater Son." There are fifty eight New Testament references to David, including the oft repeated title given to Jesus – "Son of David". Paul said that Jesus is "descended from David according to the flesh" (Romans 1:3). Jesus is recorded by John as saying, "...I am the root and the offspring of David..." (Revelation 22:16). Of course, Jesus was speaking of His Incarnation.
How Could David Be a Great Example?
As stated, while cataloging his many victories, The Holy Spirit in no way glossed over his most horrifying failures. In fact, few men reach the Spiritual heights that David reached as it regarded relationship with The Lord, being used by The Lord, and, thereby, carrying out the will of God. Neither have many men at all, at least those who were truly used of God, fallen to such depths as David did. However, The Holy Spirit, even as we see in the New Testament, in no way denigrated this man but continued to hold him up as a forerunner of the Son of The Living God, The Lord Jesus Christ. Amazingly enough, it is The Lord Jesus Christ Himself Who claims the lineage of David in the last statement of Our Lord which is recorded. He said, "I Jesus (this short phrase is followed only here in Scripture, emphasizing its importance; Christ is closing out the Book of Revelation here, but, most of all, He is testifying to the Truth of what has been given) have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches (the word 'angel' here means 'messenger' and actually refers to the pastors of the respective churches in question and actually for all time). I am the root and the offspring of David (is meant to project the incarnation of Christ), and the bright and morning star (the 'morning star' speaks of the new beginning that any person can have, irrespective of their present position or situation, if they will only look to Christ)" (Revelation 22:16). So, our Lord closes out this glorious example by stating, "I am the root and the offspring of David." No statement could be greater than that. And thus was David and thus is David.
Holy Spirit, with light divine,
Shine upon this heart of mine;
Chase the shades of night away,
Turn my darkness into day.
Holy Spirit, with power divine,
Cleanse this guilty heart of mine;
Long has sin, without control,
Held dominion over my soul.
Holy Spirit, with joy divine,
Cheer the saddened heart of mine;
Bid my many woes depart,
Heal my wounded, bleeding heart.
Holy Spirit, all divine,
Dwell within this heart of mine;
Cast down every idol throne,
Reign supreme, and reign alone.