International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday July 8, 2012
Purpose: To affirm that accepting God's authority enables us to become the individuals and community God created us to be
Scripture Text: 2 Samuel 23:1-7 & 1 Chronicles 18:14 (NRSV)
2 Samuel 23:1-7
(1) Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel: (2)The spirit of the Lord speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue. (3) The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, (4) is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. (5) Is not my house like this with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. Will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? (6) But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away; for they cannot be picked up with the hand; (7) to touch them one uses an iron bar or the shaft of a spear. And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.
1 Chronicles 18:14
(14) So David reigned over all Israel; and he administered justice and equity to all his people.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
Our text calls these the last words of David, since these were not David's last words a more correct statement may have been the last words David spoke directly inspired by the spirit of God. The implied death of David was still some time in the future. This appears to be some sort of reflection on David's life, from springing forth from the root of Jesse, the least likely of all of Jessie’s sons. To being anointed by Samuel while King Saul was still alive. David realizes faults and all he truly has been blessed by God. The inspirational words that he has spoken and written all come from the Rock, the God of Israel. A godly ruler abides by two rules, justice towards men, and piety towards God, both which he is to maintain and promote among his people. David understood a Kings rule should be second nature to those that he ruled, like the rising of the sun, or new grass after a rain. He also realizes this can best be accomplished by ruling justly and fearing God at all times.
In verse 5 David makes reference to an everlasting covenant, this of course is that covenant that was made in 2 Samuel 7:16 Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever. The King of Kings and LORD of LORDS would be a descendant of David; in effect David's Kingdom has no end.
How does God reward those kingdoms and nations that fear and honor Him? David believes we can get a sense of how pleasing we are to God, by the way nature responds. When God is pleased we see an abundance of food and blessing, when God is not pleased we will see the thorns, and the burning of those worthless vines.
What is your sense of where we stand as a nation today? Are we living fearing God, or have we dismissed God from any role in our government? There was a time when we fed the world, but now our priorities seem to have changed; now our mission seems more clouded.
How can we recover that feeling of ruling justly, and in the fear of God? How do we get back to ruling men justly, and maintaining a piety towards God?
David was anointed by God, he did not rule over a democracy, rather it was a Theocracy where the King only answered to the creator God. We live in a democracy, where it is said, we get the rulers we deserve. Whether local, state or national we elect individuals we think will do the best job. Often we are deceived or mislead. What is our responsibility towards electing a person that rules justly and maintains a piety towards God?