Highlights:

The last written words of David to his mighty men (II Sam. 23:8-17); His top "three" of honor roll (23:18-39); David sins (24:1-10); three-day plague; David builds an altar; his sacrifice (24:11-14).

Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His word was in my tongue (II Samuel 23:1-2).

David had come to the end of his life. If any man had lived a full life, it was David. In some ways, his life was not so different than any other individual. He had experienced great mountaintops and he had walked through deep valleys. Most of us can look back at life and say the same thing. David only did it on a much grander scale.

As a boy, David most likely had no idea the direction his life would go. Most people have dreams of things they wish to accomplish. What are the chances David dreamed of becoming king of the nation of Israel? That would have been more than enough, but he also is one of the most well known individuals from the Word of God. Thousands of years after his death, he is still known to many of the world.

David is even one of Jesus Christ's most mentioned earthly ancestors. It is often mentioned that Christ was of the house of David. He was even referred to as the Son of David.

Yes, there is little doubt that David had no idea of the notoriety he was to have. Even with his place as king, he probably would have never figured on being remembered by so many. No, David may not have known, but God had His plan for David's life. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (II Tim. 1:9).

God knew what was in store for David. He knew of the things David could accomplish for God's people. God knew of the potential that lived inside David. God also knew the mistakes David would make. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things (I John 3:20).

David did not always make the right choices in life. There were many times he strayed off of the path that God had for him. But, early in his life he learned to trust in God. This is the reason he was called a man after God's own heart.

God has special work for all of us. There is something that He has planned for each of our lives. There may be times that we mess up. We may even abandon the roadway God has paved for us. It is still our roadway. It is still God's plan for our lives. But, to do our best we must get back to the Lord.

At the end of life, the believer should desire to look back and see a life used for godly things. It may be hard to accomplish, but it is important to set our hearts on God and doing His will. That will bring us to a final destination that leaves a legacy for Christ. If this is done, some of Paul's last words could be ours.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing

Thought for Today:

Will you be able to say you finished your earthly life with joy?

Christ Revealed:

Through the silver which David used to purchase the threshingfloor upon which he built . . . an altar unto the Lord (II Sam. 24:24-25). Silver symbolizes Christ's redemption offered for all on the cross. Judas said unto them, What will ye give me? . . . And they covenanted (agreed) with him for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15).

Word Studies:

23:10 clave, clung; spoil, plunder, loot; 23:13 chief, foremost, captains; 23:14 hold, stronghold, fortification; 24:10 heart smote him, heart bothered him; 24:14 a great strait, great distress, difficulty; 24:16 stay now thine hand, do no more.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, Sen. Pat Roberts (KS), Rep. Trey Radel (FL), and Rep. Dan J. Benishek (MI) • Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America • Major languages: Spanish and Quechua • Religious freedom • 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede fervently in prayer for others (James 5:16).

Optional Reading: Acts 21

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26