Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Isaiah 41: 10
King James Version
Today’s Text for Study:
“Now King David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes but he got no heat.”
I Kings 1: 1
“Death Comes Knocking”
“The bodies of those that made such a noise and tumult when alive, when dead, lie as quietly among the graves of their neighbors as any others.”
If faced with the knowledge that I might die, how would I reflect on my life?
What changes would I consider making in my life if I knew my time was short?
What changes can I make in my life right now so as to live a more heavenly and God-purposed life?
“One may live as a conqueror, a king, or a magistrate, but he must die as a man.”
“The boast of heraldry,
The pomp of power,
And all that beauty,
All that wealth ever gave,
Awaits alike the inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead
But to the grave.”
Today we continue our Biblical study of all the women in the Bible, beginning with Genesis and going through to the last book in the Bible, Revelation. While we have taken a great deal of time reflecting on the Biblical record of David’s life, it is because his time on earth, from beginning to end, was intricately interwoven with the lives of many women – for good and for ill.
Even in one of the last recorded events of David’s life, we find that as he was lying on his deathbed, with his circulation waning, a young virgin girl was called in to be his “bed-warmer,” using her own body heat to take away the chilliness of the king’s failing body temperature. The Bible does make it clear that this was not a sexual relationship. Instead, this was, as historians report, a rather customary way for dealing with the infirmed at this time in history.
In II Samuel 5: 4, we are told that David was thirty-years-old when he began to reign as king and his rulership lasted forty years, so Biblical scholars deduce that David was seventy-years-old at this time of death – not what we would consider to be an “old age” at all. However, if we reflect on the mountain wanderings of David along with his battle-filled existence, it isn’t difficult to understand that life-long injuries may easily have plagued David’s existence.
This leads me to the thought behind our devotional today. David’s position as king, along with his great wealth, still could not stop time from marching on. This fact has confronted me very distinctly over the past few weeks as popular news casts have bombarded us with stories of the infamous and famous who have passed from the scene of earth’s history. Whether it has been the iconic Steve Jobs, founder of Apple; the troubled musical legend, Michael Jackson; or the tyrannical Muammar Gaddafi, dictator of Libya; no amount of money or high position can stop disease or death from coming upon anyone. All the money in the world could not buy these individuals life!
In Genesis 2: 17, God told Adam that eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would bring about a consequence, “death,” unheard of and unseen in Eden’s perfect environment. After wayward disobedience was chosen by the garden pair - Adam and Eve - little did they know that this tragedy would set in motion one disaster after another all down through history. However, it didn’t take long for Adam and Eve to witness the consequences of sin in their own family when death struck a blow as their son Cain murdered his own brother Abel.
Years later, we note that David’s position as king and his power to rule, still could not stop the consequence of death taking a toll, just as it has in the lives of every individual on planet earth except for Enoch and Elijah, as the Bible tells us.
Because we all live in a world poisoned by sin’s toxin, one of the most important lessons you and I can learn about death comes from what I recently heard a pastor say at the funeral of a young fifty-year-old – a seemingly healthy man, who without any warning, dropped dead. The pastor noted that the lessons of death’s cold hand on earth are not a lesson to the dead – but instead to the living. A lesson that asks the question, “How should I live my life today and everyday? What really matters? What makes a real difference?”
As we think about the legacy of the life of David, I believe the poet, Lord Alfred Tennyson best summarized the longing of my heart when he said, “I hope to see my Pilot face-to-face.” It is this longing which got me to thinking about who I choose, on a daily basis, to bind myself to. I love these words by Caryll Houselander, “Let us so bind ourselves that we will not only adhere to You in times of consolation, in times of sweetness and devotion and when life goes smoothly, but yet more securely in the bleak and bitter seasons of the soul – in the iron – hard winters of the Spirit.”
This I believe to be the legacy of David’s life…a life that was lived by a human man who sought to have a heart after God – his Father and his Friend.”
“Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning at the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of time and place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.”
Lord Alfred Tennyson
“Jesus, Saviour, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal;
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.
When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
‘Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
‘Fear not, I will pilot thee.’”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. Just to let you know, Transformation Garden is now on FACEBOOK. Please come and see us and share the garden with your friends. The Daily Devotional is posted everyday, Monday through Friday on Facebook, too.
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You may also call Transformation Garden at 480-281-1508.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.