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The End of an Era, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2022 7:05 am

The End of an Era, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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August 9, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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On May 19th of this year, Chuck Swindoll introduced his classic biographical series on the life of David. Today, on Insight for Living, nearly three months later, he'll present the 24th and final message in the set. It's part of the Hallmark teaching series and a full-length book as well, called David, a Man of Passion and Destiny. During the next half hour and again on tomorrow, Chuck will help us understand how David celebrated life and his reign as the King of Israel came to an end.

Chuck titled this final message, The End of an Era. As we reflect on the end of David's life today from 1 Chronicles 28 and 29, I'd like for you to do something special. I'd like for you to think ahead to the end of your own life. Not David's life, but yours. Here are a couple of questions, or maybe three. Who are you modeling your life after?

Are you living in such a way that others want to model their lives after yours? How would you like to be remembered? Now with that in mind, allow me to read portions from the 28th and 29th chapters of 1 Chronicles from the message. These are from David's last recorded words, and these are excerpts from those two chapters. This is David speaking to the king and his sons, everyone who held responsible positions in the kingdom. God chose me out of my family to be king over Israel forever. First, he chose Judah as the lead tribe. Then he narrowed it down to my family, and finally, he picked me from my father's sons, pleased to make me the king over all Israel.

And then, from all my sons, and God gave me many. He chose my son Solomon to sit on the throne of God's rule over Israel. He went on to say, your son Solomon will build my house and my courts. I have chosen him to be my royal adopted son, and I will be to him a father. I will guarantee that his kingdom will last if he continues to be as strong-minded in doing what I command and carrying out my decisions as he is doing now. And now, in this public place, all Israel looking on and God listening in as God's people, obey and study every last one of the commandments of your God so that you can make the most of living in this good land and pass it on intact to your children, ensuring a good future. And you, Solomon, my son, get to know well your father's God. Serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for God examines every heart and sees through every motive. If you seek him, he'll make sure you find him.

But if you abandon him, he'll leave you for good. Look sharp now. God has chosen you to build his holy house. Be brave, determined, and do it. And now verses 20 and 21.

David continued to address Solomon. Take charge. Take heart. Don't be anxious or get discouraged. God, my God, is with you in this.

He won't walk off and leave you in the lurch. He's at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of God. You have all the priests and Levites standing ready to pitch in and skillful craftsmen and artisans of every kind ready to go to work. Both leaders and people are ready.

Just say the word. Now the next chapter, chapter 29 verses 9 to 13. And the people were full of a sense of celebration, all that giving, and all given willingly, freely. King David was exuberant.

David blessed God in full view of the entire congregation. Blessed are you, God of Israel, our Father, from of old and forever. To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might, the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor.

Yes, everything in heaven, everything on earth, the kingdom, all yours. You've raised yourself high over all. Riches and glory come from you, your ruler over all. You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand to build up and strengthen all. And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you, praising your splendid name.

You're listening to Insight for Living. To dig deeper into the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures Studies by going to insight.org slash studies. And now the message from Chuck titled The End of an Era. John Wycliffe could be called the genesis of an era. Although the man has been virtually forgotten in our world today, this 14th century saint was a stern and determined individual. He was a marked man by the individuals who were threatened by his efforts. He could not bear the thought that the Bible should remain chained to a pulpit in the dead language of the clergy and the prelates of the church. And so he set out as an English speaker to put into the English vernacular both the Old and the New Testament.

It was a mammoth undertaking and it was done against all kinds of verbal and physical assault upon him. Nevertheless, this faithful scholar, this preacher of righteousness stayed at the task until it was virtually completed. And then in bold defiance against the enemies of his day, he wrote these words in the flyleaf of that first English translation. This Bible is translated and shall make possible a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Little did Wycliffe realize that 500 years later a lean and broken president of a new government that had established itself on a new continent would borrow from the flyleaf of his Bible the very same words which he would use on a bleak November day in a place called Gettysburg. In that blood-drenched battlefield Lincoln said, We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. It was less than a year and a half later that President Lincoln was assassinated.

And among the hundreds of men and women who reported his death, one very keen reporter was right on target when he said, This is not a death. Lincoln's assassination is the end of an era. Every once in a while there is an individual born who is called of God to be the beginning of an era. Thinking fresh thoughts, creative ideas, bold and even defiant plans against public opinion. But that individual, whether man or woman, is determined to set a new course and to set out in a new forging of thought.

Such was John Wycliffe. Sometime God brings on the earth an individual who is to end an era. His shoes are so big that by the time of his death nobody can fill them. And it isn't simply a death, it's the end of an era.

The closing out of a period of time on earth for which there will never be a duplicate. It is my opinion that David, the king of Israel, at his death formed the end of an era. As great as Solomon became, he never took the place and in my opinion never came to the level of his father, David himself. G. Frederick Owen puts his finger as a historian on David's life and in one paragraph summarizes it. David satisfied the people throughout Israel. He quieted the Philistines for all time to come. Then in the midst of peace and plenty wrote many psalms of praise to Jehovah.

The elderly king gathered vast stores of stone and iron, brass, precious jewels and cedar for the erection of the temple of God. He gave his parting charge and closed the most successful royal career recorded in the annals of history. David's life and death formed the end of an era. I want us to turn first to Acts chapter 13 before we look back into the Old Testament. I want us to see in one verse that sort of surfaces and then dissolves into others, just a summary of his life as Paul saw it while ministering in southern Europe. Acts 13 verse 36, this is God's evaluation of a man whose mold was broken at the time of his death.

Look at them carefully. Verse 36, for David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay. Study verse 36 for a moment. Take away the name of David and put your own name there for your name. After you served the purpose of God in your own generation, you fell asleep.

You were buried and you passed away from the face of this earth. Every individual has a purpose for living, everyone. Not many as great a purpose as David, but none an insignificant reason for living. The tragedy of all tragedies is that we would live and die having never found that purpose, that reason for serving our generation. You have, like no other person on earth, a particular set of things, contributions that you are to make to this generation.

Once they've been served, you've finished. They may not be as great as your dreams or they might be far beyond what you ever expected, but whatever they are, you're to find them and you're to invest them and then to be satisfied when your twilight years come that you have served God's purpose and your life has ended. David's purpose was to serve as a king, helping the birth of a son whose name was Solomon and to perpetuate the righteousness of Israel. In 1 Chronicles, chapters 28 and 29, we read the last recorded words of David while he was on earth. 1 Chronicles 28 and 1 Chronicles 29 form the closing chapters of his life.

And I find David in this final study that we undertake this evening involved in four activities. He reflects on the temple. He speaks to his son, Solomon. He prays before the Lord and then with the assembly he rejoices before he passes away.

Look at chapter 28 beginning at verse 1. David, old and perhaps stooped by now in years after four decades of service, looks into the faces of some trusted followers as well as his own son who is the king elect and he brings these words. It says, For David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the princes of the tribes and the commanders of the divisions that serve the king, the commanders of thousands, the commanders of hundreds, the overseers of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, with the officials and the mighty men, even all the valiant men. That's quite a gathering.

Maybe it numbered into the hundreds. They're all surrounding David, this aged king, who is to give them the final parting words of his life having served the purpose of God. It says that David rose to his feet and said, Listen to me, my brethren and my people. I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God, so I had made preparations to build it. As I read verse 2, I am aware immediately of the truth of this desire in David's life. He lived and died with a frustrated desire.

If there's one thing David wanted to do, it was to build the temple. Now smile when I say that because I know that beating in the heart of every thinking person is a dream, is a desire. When nobody is around and when you're able to be absolutely honest with yourself before God, you entertain certain dreams, certain hopes. You want very much by the end of your days to have, and you fill in the blank, that's your desire. I say on the basis of David's life, it may very well be that you will die with that desire unfulfilled.

That will be one of the hardest things in the world for you to face and accept. David did a beautiful job of it. He had this deep desire to build a temple, but the Lord's answer was no. See verse 3, God said to me, you shall not build a house for my name because you're a man of war and have shed blood. You see when Solomon was born, he was given the name that means peace.

Maybe you've never thought of it, but the word Shalom is directly related in root form to the name Solomon. His name means peace. The Lord chose a peacemaker, a diplomat, not a man of war to build his house. He wanted a man of a different temperament than David to fulfill that dream. David realized it when God said that to him, and so David accepted from the Lord his no.

That's awfully hard to do. Look at his response beginning at verse 4 down through verse 8. Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. He has chosen Judah to be a leader, and in the house of Judah my father's house, and among the sons of my father he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.

What's he doing? He's focusing on what God did allow him to do. He wants for us to be so distraught over a frustrated desire that we forget the things God does give us, the good things God does accomplish through our efforts and through our hands. Rather than pining away the last few years of his life with this ache for that unfulfilled desire, David focused on the good things that God had given him. He goes on, For the Lord has given me many sons, he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. He said to me, Your son Solomon is the one who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to me, and I will be a father to him, and I will establish his kingdom forever if he resolutely performs my commandments and my ordinances as is done now. So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God, in order that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever.

What's he saying? He's saying God did not give me a yes answer, he gave me a no answer, but he did give me other things in place of that dream. And I'm making the very most I can of those other things, accepting the fact that I will never realize the dream of my life. I want to pause for just a moment and ask you if you have some cherished desire that you realize by now you're having to relinquish. Usually it takes getting up in years to realize that that's going to happen. Because the younger we are, the greater our dreams and the broader our hopes. But some of us are getting old enough to realize that some of those great hopes and dreams are never going to be realized.

That's a hard pill to swallow. I made a list of some of the things. Perhaps it is the dream of some great accomplishment. Maybe it is the dream for a certain kind of career that you realize by now will never be yours to enjoy. Maybe it's a hope for relief from something in your life that you've had to live with for years. Perhaps it's a certain kind of ministry, maybe a romance, maybe a choice of partner that you have made, but it's obvious to you by now that that's not God's choice.

That's hard to accept. As David reflects on his life and sees this unfulfilled desire, he says rather than aching over this unfulfilled dream, I want to turn my attention to the things the Lord has done, and I challenge you with that. Parents, you can live the last years of your life swamped by guilt, just overwhelmed by the failures of your past.

You can eat your heart out, we say these days, over some failure, some lack. Or you can say, by the grace of God, I did the best I could with what I had, and I claim his promise that he'll make up for me somehow for the years the locusts have eaten, the swarming locusts have eaten. As David reflects, let's also reflect. And then he turns, and I feel in an emotional moment, looks at his son and sees in that young man the possibility of that dream being fulfilled, and yet David won't experience it.

Now feel it with this father. As for you, my son Solomon, and now he passes on advice. And look at what he says to his son.

He's got his final words, last days on earth, and he chooses these words very carefully. First of all, he says to his son Solomon, Solomon, know the Lord. He speaks first of godliness. Know the God of your father.

That seems almost too obvious to mention, doesn't it? But you see, David is aware of the tyranny of the urgent. He's been a king for 40 years, and he knows on the throne of Israel there is enough to keep a man busy so that he never has to take time to know God, or he would be tempted not to take the time. And he said, Solomon, above all the other things I want to pass on to you, I want you to know God. The Amplified Bible does better than any translation I have found, or any rendering, Philippians 3.10.

Listen to it. For my determined purpose is that I may know him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of his person more strongly and more clearly. If you could pull your son aside and give him advice regarding life, what would be the first thing you'd tell him? By the way, fathers, mothers, what are you passing on?

What is literally being instructed into the lives of your offspring? David looked deeply into the eyes of his beloved son of grace, Solomon, who came from the loins of Bathsheba. What grace! And he saw in Solomon the markings of waywardness and loose living. He saw those bents, and so he said to Solomon, knowing his son, know God, boy, know God! While today's passage describes the beautiful transfer of influence from one generation to the next, and there's no better wisdom than the counsel David gave to Solomon to know God, Chuck describes this moment in his popular biography on David. If you've been meaning to get a copy, well, be sure to reach out today. This book on David parallels this broadcast series, but goes into far greater detail. Many people have told us this particular biography is their favorite in the Great Lives collection. It's called David, a Man of Passion and Destiny.

To purchase a copy, call 800-772-8888, or visit insight.org slash store. When you give personally to this nonprofit ministry, you can have complete confidence that God is using your generosity to impact men and women in all walks of life and in all seasons of life as well. We often hear from young adults who recall hearing this program while growing up at home as their parents faithfully listened to Chuck's teaching. In that regard, your contributions have a generational impact. To give a donation today, call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or give online at insight.org. Well, few people have more impact on this nonprofit ministry than those who agree to give monthly as a monthly companion. As a monthly companion, you're helping us reach single parents, truck drivers, businessmen, and teachers, all of whom affirm their gratitude for these daily visits with Chuck. And each one confirms that God is working through our monthly companions.

To join the team right now, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or go online to insight.org slash monthly companion. . You've heard him teach about the Holy Land using word pictures to make us feel like we're actually strolling through the old city. Learning about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure, but seeing the land of Israel with your own eyes is life-changing.

In fact, it's absolutely magnificent. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by Insight for Living Ministries. Join us on an unforgettable 12-day tour, March 5th through the 16th, 2023. At special sites along the way, I will teach from God's Word, we'll worship at the Mount of Beatitudes, and share the Lord's Table at the Garden Tomb. In fact, we'll sail the Sea of Galilee together, and we'll visit places where Jesus walked and taught. To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444.

Just imagine walking along those sacred sites and seeing the Bible come to life before your very eyes. Mark your calendar for March 5th through the 16th, 2023. And make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444. Or go to insight.org slash events. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll presents his final message in the series on David. That's tomorrow on Insight for Living. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-14 15:04:37 / 2023-03-14 15:13:32 / 9

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