This is a summation of David’s rule. Nothing grandiose. Plain and simple. If you follow God, your rule will be blessed. If not, you will be torn down and burned up.
I don’t know if these were David’s “final words” on his deathbed or if they were the last of what he penned in his lifetime. My bible puts them under the heading of “The Last Words of David.” So it could have been either. Is it possible that it is something more than his “last words” according to a time line? Could it be that these are the “last words”, meaning nothing more need be said?
I like the idea of ‘nothing more need be said’. As far as a ruler is concerned, nothing greater could be said than; “When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout up from the earth” (verses 3b-4, emphasis added by me).
What I wouldn’t give for leaders like that today. They would certainly get my vote!
I know that not everything David did was good. We spoke of this earlier, but overall he was a good leader. He cared about the people. He humbled himself before God and let God lead him FIRST. Then he led the people as God directed him to.
God didn’t choose David because he was a good king. He chose David and molded him into a great leader. He chose a heart He could work with. One that would remain true to Him, even in the midst of battles. EVEN in the middle of discipline!
As far as I know, David NEVER told God that He was unfair for the trials he went through. He took his ‘lumps’ when they came because he knew he had earned them. Then he got back up and renewed his commitment to walk in God’s ways. One of my favorite stories of him ‘taking his lumps’ is when he is running from Absalom and Shimei is cursing him. Instead of being angry and retaliating he tells Joab that maybe God told him to curse David. He doesn’t fight whatever the Lord decides to do, even when he doesn’t know for certain what God’s intentions are.
It isn’t a sin though to question God or to even be upset with Him. Elijah did it and God comforted him after confronting him. God will work with anyone who has a willing heart. But the “worthless men” will find themselves in the fire.
The covenant God made with David continued, even when his offspring failed to live with Him as their center. And because of that they suffered the fate of the “worthless men.” They were uprooted and ‘thrown into the fire.’ The kingdom of Israel was taken down by man but allowed by God. It was by spear and sword that they fell.
David’s word picture here brings to mind cutting out blackberry bushes around my house. They were so thick that they had to be taken out with pitchforks and limb shears. We would stick the ‘fork’ in, wind it up, and then chop off everything that was holding them to the ground. The bushes were piled into a heap and burned. Later the roots had to be dug up to keep them from re-growing.
God promises that fate for those who reject Him. Not out of anger or hatred. God doesn’t want ANYONE to miss out on a relationship with Him. He doesn’t want ANYONE to go to Hell. But He will honor our choices. And anyone who stands outside of His protection will. His protection comes with believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He came to earth as a baby, lived a sinless life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again. That Jesus is our salvation is THE key to a relationship with God. His blood is the only way to be righteous in the Father’s eyes. It is the difference between Heaven and Hell.
So will you be a bramble that gets burned up or will you accept His free gift of salvation through Jesus? And when you choose to accept His salvation He will train you for the role you have in His kingdom.
Father God, thank You for Your salvation. Thank You that You train me day by day for the role You have for me in Your kingdom work. I don’t have to worry about getting everything right all the time. So long as I have the main points in place and am willing to learn. Keep me ever learning and ever seeking a closer walk with You.