Summary: Final words and lessons from David’s life.
A. The story is told of an old man named Fred who had been a faithful Christian and was in the hospital, near death.
1. The family called their preacher to come stand with them.
2. As the preacher stood next to the bed, Ol’ Fred’s condition appeared to deteriorate and he motioned frantically for something to write on.
3. The preacher handed him a pen and a piece of paper, and Ol’ Fred used his last bit of energy to scribble a note, then he handed the note to the preacher, and a few minutes later, he died.
4. The preacher thought it best not to look at the note at that time, so he placed it in his jacket pocket.
5. At the funeral, as he was finishing the message, he realized that he was wearing the same jacket that he was wearing when Ol’ Fred died.
6. He said, “You know, Ol’ Fred handed me a note just before he died. I haven’t looked at it, but knowing Fred, I’m sure there’s a word of inspiration there for us all.”
7. He opened the note, and read, “Hey, you’re standing on my oxygen tube!”
B. Famous last words – Sometimes people in the throes of the dying process have very profound things to say.
1. Marie Antoinette, on the way to her death accidentally stepped on the toe of her executioner. Her final words were, “Pardon me sir.”
2. Just before he died, Pancho Villa, the first Mexican Revolutionary general, said to a friend, “Don’t let it end this way. Tell them I said something.”
3. The very last words of P.T. Barnum, the famous circus owner and entertainer, were, “How were the receipts today?”
4. John Newton, the former slave trader turned preacher and hymn writer, said this as his death neared, “I am still in the land of the dying; I shall be in the land of the living soon.”
C. As we turn to our attention to the life of David, we turn to his last story, and the last sermon in our series.
1. I hope you have enjoyed this series that began back in January as much as I have.
2. David certainly had cultivated a heart for God, and I hope we have learned something about that for ourselves.
3. But before David died, he had some very important final words for the new king, his own son, Solomon.
I. The Story:
A. David knew that his days were drawing to a close.
1. He knew that his call “to go home” was at hand.
2. As great a man as he was, he would not be permitted to by-pass death.
3. He was destined to die as most of us are.
4. He would have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death about which he had written so poignantly in Psalm 23.
5. But this he could do with great dignity and quiet assurance because he knew that the great Shepherd of his soul was with him and would bless him.
B. For all of us who are children of God, death should not be something we dread.
1. It is but the doorway through which we step from this earthly dimension of time and space and mortality, into the glorious dimension of eternity – abundant and ever-lasting life.
2. And in so doing, we are set free from sin, sorrow, sickness, death and despair.
3. In heaven we will live in the light and love of God, our Father.
4. What hope and comfort this understanding should give us!
C. All of this David knew with sure and unshakable confidence.
1. So, David had no dread of the future.
2. He had faith in the ultimate goodness and blessing of his Lord God.
3. This is part of the enduring legacy he left to all of us.
D. But before his departure to be with the Lord, the aged monarch was acutely concerned for the on-going well-being of both his heir to the throne and his empire.
1. David was not concerned for himself, but he was concerned about the devices of some who might destroy Solomon and his dynasty.
2. So the young king was summoned to his father’s bedside for a last charge.
3. The advice that David offered was both spiritual and practical.
E. First of all, David restated the bedrock truths which could sustain the youthful monarch amid all of his adversaries.
1. These initial words to Solomon apply equally to all of us.
2. The Bible says: When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go, and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’ ” (1 Kings 2:1-4)