These are the last words of David:
"David, the son of Jesse, speaks—
David, the man who was raised up so high,
David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
David, the sweet psalmist of Israel."
2 SAMUEL 23:1
Most babies say the same first words in English—"Mama" or "Da-Da." At the other end of our lives, our last words differ dramatically. I've seen firsthand how people die differently because they have lived differently. Some people face death with hope and sometimes even a sense of anticipation. I once watched a dying woman I know from church, who sat up, smiled, and said, "I'm ready to go!"
Others know only hopelessness and despair as death approaches. Scottish philosopher David Hume's last words were, "I am in flames." The philosopher Voltaire cried throughout the night, "I am abandoned by God and man....I shall go to hell! Oh Christ, Oh, Jesus Christ." Gandhi said, "All about me is darkness. I am praying for light."
In today's reading, we find King David's last formal words before his death. David's life can be captured in a one-sentence biographical sketch: God took a peasant and made him into royalty. If you are a Christian, God has done the same for you. Peter wrote, "You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession" (1 Peter 2:9). Be careful how you use your relationship with God. Each day through the things you do, you are writing a chapter of your life story.
Although David was called a man after God's heart, his life was imperfect, full of sin and forgiveness, transgression and mercy. That's a lot like your life and mine. Aren't you glad God has a big eraser? No matter what you have done, you can celebrate the truth of 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness."
In His strong love,