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II Samuel 23 (Wiersbe)

"Leaders must depend on the Lord and give Him the Glory."

David's last words: verses 1-7

  • At least 73 of the Psalms are attributed to David. His last one is found here.
  • "Last words", according to Wiersbe, means last inspired words from the Lord. SO it may not mean dieing breathe; it may just mean near the end of his life.
  • Wiersbe says the theme is godly leadership, so as to be meant for Solomon.
  • The Lord chose him and elevated him- and not because of any characteristics of his own. (I guess except his lineage as being from the tribe of Judah)
  • God got him ready. As a shepherd; as a member of Saul's army; under Samuel's wing. A long slow process, often with unbearable circumstances.
  • Wiersbe points out that David was actually a prophet. We don't often use that term for him, since we have so many other we think of first; but he heard directly from God. In Acts, Peter called David a prophet and quoted him regarding the Messiah.
  • David was "a ruler who served and a servant who ruled". He genuinely cared for his people.
  • David reminds the listener that God mad an covenant with him that promised an everlasting dynasty.

David's mighty men: verses 8-39

Wiersbe attributes these mighty men to David's talented leadership.

  • I've wondered how one man kills 800. Wiersbe offers theories, but points out there is no evidence. He suggests that maybe the fear of the Lord drove them off of a cliff; or something this man did inspired others to join the fight- giving him the credit.
  • Wiersbe also points out another copyist error. This man is only credited with killing 300 men in Chronicles.

For the issue of the mighty men getting him water from the well at Bethlehem, Wiersbe agrees with other commentaries that David did not ASK the men to do this. And he did not, probably, say it very loud, but to himself. He was horrified that these brave, talented men had risked their lives. He was also very moved at their sacrifice. So he poured the water out as a drink offering. The drink offering was never done by itself. It accompanied another sacrifice- which is how seriously he took their act.

Part of me, whenever I hear this story, thinks it was a callous, almost mean, thing to do. Pour out the work of these men onto the ground. And it's also surprising because he had to be so thirsty. Most of us would have just poured it down our throats in desperation. But in context of the time and how their sacrifices were a key part of their faith, this was a very powerful symbol of how much he honored them and how grateful he was to God for bringing them back safely from their folly.

It also shows how thoughtful and considered David could be. Again, he sat and looked at the water and considered all that it meant; when most of us would have just drank without thinking. Listening to our bodies, not the Lord.

If only he had been so thoughtful and considered when he decided to watch Bathsheba bath.

While the life, accomplishment, fetes, and legends of David are amazing, he did not do them alone. At least not after Goliath. He needed help. God builds community and sends us, together, to accomplish His good work.

Wiersbe does mention that Joab is only mentioned in conjunction to his relation his brother. But he doesn't dive it to it as I had hoped in my last post. He mentions that Joab was, again, disloyal and disobedient by trying to enthrone someone other than David's successor and was executed for it. I did have one additional thought on Joab after reading this---David DOES mention him. "...brother of Joab". It seems to be a nod to Joab that he was a well-know figure. And he was adjacent to these men. But not one of them.

It's a good reminder, that like Ahithophel, Joab was wise, smart, successful, and yet, he did it all in his own strength. Seemingly for his own glory or purposes. And in the end, he wasn't even considered among the mighty men by David and God. No matter what we think we're accomplishing, of it's not in and of the Lord, it will burn up in the fire of our lives.

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