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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - July 24, 2007

  • 2007 Jul 24
  • COMMENTS
 

David: Ending Well by—Dying Gracefully

I Kings 2

 

 

 

 

It is hard to fully comprehend how much lasting impact one single human life can accomplish.

Think of just David’s brief lifetime.

 

Three thousand years ago he lived and died—yet today millions and millions of people read, quote, memorize, gather comfort and hope, and sing the words he wrote in the Psalms.

 

Three thousand years ago he lived and died—yet today billions and billions of people think about, revere, love, and want the city he founded and built as the capitol city of God’s people. Jerusalem, David’s city, is in most newspapers and TV news reports and on the web daily!

 

In fact the two final wars on this planet (Revelation 16 and 20) will both be fought over control of David’s city that is also God’s city named—Jerusalem!

 

So David’s life has accomplished something that touches most people on earth daily! That is astounding, and just one more reason we have spent this year seeing David’s life through the lens of Scripture.

 

Today we begin to look at the conclusion of David’s life. When David comes to the end of his long and event filled life, it was not a worn out body that caused his death, nor was it the lack of medical care. It was God’s appointed time.

 

Listen to the words of Job who lived nearly 5,000 years ago, recorded perfectly for us by God in His Word, the Bible. Job 14:1-5

 

“Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble.

2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away;

He flees like a shadow and does not continue.

3 And do You open Your eyes on such a one,

And bring me to judgment with Yourself?

4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?

No one!

5 Since his days are determined,

The number of his months is with You;

You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.

 

Our life time is not set by how carefully we guarded our health through diet and exercise (yet God commands us to be disciplined and not reckless in our physical lives); nor is our lifetime extended by physicians (though God commends to us proper health care). Our length of days has been determined by God alone.

 

As we open to 1 Kings 2:1-2 we will begin to see the elements David models in what I am calling, “Dying Gracefully”.

 

Now the days of David drew near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying: 2 “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man.

 

The first element we find as we look at David’s final recorded moments is that David is gracefully unafraid of death because he was saved, redeemed, and thus prepared spiritually. He was open and exemplary in his instruction to his son. David is unafraid to initiate talk about his death. He had taken time to prepare for death, and then he talked about it clearly with his son (and probably many others) and by God’s Spirit even to us!

 

How did David come to this place of spiritual preparation for death? He was sure about the destination of his soul.

 

Remember what we saw back in Psalm 31:5?

 

Psalm 31:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

 

David knew he was redeemed—bought and paid for by God. Because of that confidence, he declares his life is held by God’s Hands.

 

The key to dying gracefully is to be certain that our immortal spirit is safely sealed and kept by God. Our future destiny is in His Hands, not a doctor’s, not a terrorist’s, and certainly not in ours. So a secured spiritual life is the first key to dying gracefully.

 

Jesus reflects this certainty as he went to the cross. And calmly at His final moment He says in Luke 23:46 those same words of David.

 

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

 

Spiritual certainty like David’s is faith in what Christ's work on the cross accomplished. Jesus defeated death; Jesus delivered us who trust in Him. The writer of Hebrews notes that part of Christ's work on the cross was to deliver us who come to Him from the fear of death.

 

Please turn with me back to Hebrews 2:14-18 and this morning review again what happened at Christ's cross.

 

Stand and read.

 

Hebrews 2:14-18 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

 

Pray

 

If you have been born again, Jesus has released you from the fear of death.

 

Christ's work is finished, the power of death is destroyed, the price of sin is paid, the power of an endless life is yours and mine in Christ.

 

Have you come to the place in your spiritual life that you know that you are His? That your soul is held by God? That your spirit clothed immortal will make its flight to realms of Glory? That is dying gracefully

 

Fanny Crosby’s (1820-1915) words often flow through my heart as I think of this reality. That blind poet, hymnist and saint triumphantly affirmed her hope in Christ as resurrection and life!

 

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

 

All the way my Savior leads me;
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father's house above.

When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song thro' endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way;

This my song thro' endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.

 

So first, David made the most important preparation, he was spiritually certain of his salvation. As we turn back to I Chronicles 22:14 we will find the second element of David’s graceful preparation for death--David surrendered to God the ownership of all his material possessions before his death. By that I mean David had made sure that none of the normal things that tie most people down to the earth were tying him.

 

1 Chronicles 22:14 “Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them.

 

One of the most amazing elements of David’s life is how he viewed his immense wealth.

 

This sermon will conclude tomorrow July 25th.

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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