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The Final Song, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2022 12:00 am

The Final Song, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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February 7, 2022 12:00 am

The last words of a godly man are sometimes his most memorable, and that is true for David. In spite of the spiritual failures that haunted his household and kingdom for the latter years of his reign, his prayer to God in 1 Chronicles 29 reveals that underneath the wrinkled skin and tattered crown there was still a heart beating fast for God.

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David here is in his 70s. This was the intention of my heart. I love his honesty.

He admits it. David wants to see this built. God has given it to somebody else. I don't know about you, but it's one thing to not have your dreams fulfilled. It's another thing to have your dreams postponed. It's another thing entirely to see God give your dream to somebody else. Wait, I wanted to do that.

That's what I wanted to experience. Solomon will build the temple of God that David designed. For the past few weeks, Stephen Davey has taken us through the life of King David.

The series is called The Singer. Today, Stephen begins the last message in this series. He's calling today's lesson the final song. It comes from 1 Chronicles 28 and 29, where David reflected on his life and passed on the wisdom he learned. The last words of a godly man are sometimes his most memorable, and that's true for David. In spite of his spiritual failures, David had a heart that was beating fast for God. Looking at David's final words is a fitting end to this series.

So let's join Stephen right now. Some of the most telling words a person can deliver are his last words. In fact, if you've ever had a conversation with someone and maybe it's a family member or some friend and you've realized sometime after that conversation and you got the news that they've passed away, you go back in your mind, don't you, to that conversation and you remember what was said. Before medical technology allowed us to be unconscious at the end of our lives, perhaps, and still alive, before those closing conversations, really for many of us will never occur, people in the ancient days used to spend a lot of time thinking about what they wanted to leave as their final word or words. And that's why when you go back into history, you'll read these wonderful paragraphs or speeches delivered by people.

It may not be the last thing they said, but it was the last thing they wanted people to know they said. There's a book in my library. I dusted it off again this week by Herbert Lockyer. He wrote a wonderful series called All the Angels, All the whatever, Men, Women. And he has one book in there that's entitled All the Last Words of Saints and Sinners, certainly not every saint or sinner, but he cataloged a number of them and I found them interesting. One particular statement by the Sultan of Spain back in the Middle Ages who said this, 50 years have passed since I first became Sultan. Riches, honor, pleasures, I have enjoyed them all. But in this long time of seeming happiness, I have counted the days on which I have truly been happy and they have numbered 14. So his last message was, you might think I've been happy, but I've counted the days and there were only 14 of them.

Not necessarily the best way to go out. Philip III, the king of Spain who died in 1621, admitted how happy I would have been to have spent these last 23 years I have served as king in retirement instead. Ramon Návez, a Spanish soldier of fortune when he was dying, knew it, was being exhorted by a priest to forgive his enemies, forgive your enemies. And he responded by saying, but I don't have any enemies anymore, I shot them all.

That's his last words. Perhaps the most realistic confession came from the lips of King Louis XIV, who as he was dying, knew it, among other people, called his son to his bedside and lamented, my son, I might have lived a better life, so profit by my errors. And remember this, kings die like everyone else. We're going to conclude today our study of the life of David. We're going to fast forward the tape past similar scenes of intrigue, crime, sin, confession. The names change. There is betrayal and a coup attempt on his throne.

If you're old in the faith, older in the faith, and you knew that as Absalom attempts to gain the throne and is rebuffed. But I want to look with you as we conclude this series past those few chapters that contain even more failure and confession, to get to the last words from the lips of this singer king. I want you to take a look with me at those last recorded words. I hear pages shuffling. Go to 1 Chronicles. 1 Chronicles. Matthew, Mark, Luke, 1 Chronicles in case you're wondering. Chapter 28.

I shouldn't do that. We have people younger in the faith. Why don't you say those books with me in the Bible. We'll get to 1 Chronicles. Ready? Here we go. Genesis. All right, let's start again.

That was the easy one. Ready? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles.

There you go. Now chapter 28. Frankly, it is not only David's final speech recorded, but I think it's his finest speech. In these closing comments, he is going to bid farewell and yet pack a powerful sermon into words to his leaders, to his son, to his nation, and to his God. Now as we work our way through two chapters fairly quickly, I want to give you three examples that David provides for us in his farewell speech.

The first example is this. David provides for us an example of godly surrender. Godly surrender. Notice verse 1, 1 Chronicles, chapter 28. David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the officials of the tribes, the officers of the divisions that serve the king, the commanders of thousands, the commanders of hundreds, the stewards of all the property and livestock of the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty men and all the seasoned warriors. In other words, what David is doing is he's having a parting word with his entire leadership core, you could call it. These are the movers and the shakers of the Jewish nation. By the way, just to kind of review a little bit, this is a nation that when David began to be king, barely hung on to about 6,000 square miles.

At this point, when we arrive here in his biography at his final farewell, he is commanding 60,000 square miles. This is now a unified nation, you could call it under one flag. It is an established capital city of Jerusalem, virtually undefeated in battle.

In fact, the enemy nations around Israel have either been subjugated by them or fear them. More importantly, at this point, it is a nation that worships the one true and living God. In fact, much of their worship is directed and led by the compositions of this singer, composer, king.

We're still singing his music today. I say all of that to say as David steps out to address the important leaders of the kingdom, and of course, his nation will be there in his family, this is a moment where David could polish his trophies. You know, just sort of regale his subjects with his reign and what he did at the very beginning stages and throughout this 40-year, amazing 40-year period. This is exactly what David will not do. In fact, look down at verse 4. David said, the Lord God of Israel chose me from all my father's house to be king over Israel forever. For he chose Judah as leader, and in the house of Judah, my father's house. And among my father's sons, he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. You see, David never forgets how he got where he was. And at the end of his life, he wants everybody to know he is going to refuse this pedestal of praise.

He's going to shift the spotlight back to his sovereign God who chose him to be king. Now, here's why I was worth it, but here's what God did. David never lost sight of this, that his role in life was the work of God's grace.

Let's back up for a moment. Notice the first thing on David's mind in his farewell speech. Look at verse 2. David then rose to his feet and said, hear me, my brothers and my people. It was my intention, or you can render it, I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God. And I made preparations for building, but God said to me, you may not build a house for my name. Now, if you were with us in our former study, after 15 to 18 years of subduing the nations around them, unifying the nation of Israel, establishing the kingdom and the capital, David revealed to Nathan the prophet his passionate dream to build the temple, to give God a footstool. In other words, let's give God a touching point.

Let's build this magnificent palace of a temple. Can I? And Nathan says, I love what's in your heart. That's a wonderful intention.

Go for it. At night, God comes to Nathan and says, you hit a foul ball. You didn't come talk to me.

Yes, it's a good intention, but it isn't my will. Go back and tell David. So Nathan goes back to David, effectively apologizes and says, you know what? I spoke too quickly. My answer was yes.

God's answer is no. And now, in fact, we weren't told then why. We are now told in his Pharaoh speech. He reveals it to us.

Here's the reason. Look at verse three again. God says, you may not build a house for my name, for you are a man of war and have shed blood. Now, wait a minute. If you were David right now, you would be reeling from this revelation.

In fact, you'd probably be thinking, hold on just a second. Every war I fought was for God's glory, Lord. Every time I swung the sword beginning with that giant Goliath to the last battle was for your reputation and for your kingdom and your nation and your people. And now you're telling me that because I did that for you, I can't do what I want to do for you.

That's right. So you got to understand, as David pulls back the curtain of his heart, that he's already drawn up plans. He's going to reveal them, specific plans. He has the floor plan. God was delivering that to him. He had how much gold they needed, silver and iron. When David laid his head on his pillow at night for the last 15 years or so, what was swirling in his mind was not battle plans but building plans.

That's what thrilled his heart. His one great desire, his legacy, he wanted it to be the building of this magnificent temple for the glory of his magnificent God and God said no. I wonder when nobody's around, when you're able to be honest with your own heart before the Lord and you entertain those dreams and plans. If God allowed you to have the intention of your heart, would it look like what you have today?

I think all of us would have to be honest enough to say, you know, even in my best happiest day I'd change this or I wouldn't have allowed that to happen or I would have changed that. My guess is almost every one of us would have to say in one way or another, God has often said no where the intention of my heart and the desire of my heart was good, even godly, but he didn't say yes, he said no. In David's farewell speech that he's had plenty of time to collect, he doesn't begin to spew bitterness and anger at God. Look what God made me do, all those battles, all those wars and now look what God won't let me do. Instead he tells his audience what God has allowed him to do instead. God chose me to be king. He's chosen my son to rule in my place and build this temple. Don't think for a moment by the way that because it's his son that makes it easy.

No. David wants to see this built. So it's interesting that instead of anger or frustration he's resigned and surrendered and joyfully submissive that while God has chosen to use his plans he has chosen to use someone else's hands. In fact from verses 9 through 19 of chapter 28 what you have here is the intention of his heart. You have the floor plan, you have the treasuries, the storage rooms, the upper rooms, the inner chambers, you have the holy of holies, you've got the divisions of the priests which by the way he's been preparing, he's been seeking and training, they now swell over 30,000 men ready to go. He's designed the gold and the vessels and the weight needed for all of that and even the design of the lamp stands and the table and the silver and forks and basins and cups and bowls and on and on. This has been his greatest longing.

What do you think he's been doing for 15 years? He's been gathering and planning and drawing and designing what God has allowed him to know. But at this point in the narrative we really ought to be studying the final speech of a bitter man, an angry, frustrated king who had followed the will and was now kept from his dream.

And you can almost hear him, can't you? Pine away, this is the thanks I get for 40 years of battling for God. No, instead he models surrender and submission and with that self-sacrifice and humility.

His life didn't turn out like he wanted it to, but he knew God was still worthy of praise. For those of you who are in your 50s, that 50 just marks something, doesn't it? Half a century, you begin to think differently, you forget what you thought but you think it anyway.

60s, 70s, 80s, somewhere along the line you wake up to the reality and the truth of David's speech, don't you? By now you've probably figured out that you'll not own a Fortune 500 company. You probably now know you're not going to have that cottage in Key West or maybe buy a pond in the northeast.

By now you're realizing you're stuck here with us. Maybe that dream of a paid off mortgage isn't going to happen. Maybe a dream of good health.

I know a couple in their 80s who recently have lost their home after paying it off, only through financial reversals, literally in their 80s, losing that home and having to sign on and start over. Those of you with children, your dream was that they would walk with God and maybe they walked away from God. Your chapter is different than what you had intended for God to write and you certainly wouldn't have written everything just like he has.

David here is in his 70s. This was the intention of my heart. I love his honesty. He admits it.

He doesn't say, nah, I don't think about that. Nah, no big deal. No, this was it. This was the longing of my heart. God has given it to somebody else. I don't know about you, but it's one thing to not have your dreams fulfilled. It's another thing to have your dreams postponed. It's another thing entirely to see God give your dream to somebody else. Wait, I wanted to do that.

That's what I wanted to experience. Solomon will build the temple of God that David designed. So what David is doing here is all the more remarkable and that's just sort of a setup because what he's doing is focusing on what God did allow, what God did do, what God did give him, how God did bless him. In fact, go back to verse 4 again. That opening word yet in my translation, yet. Here's the intention of my heart.

Didn't get to do that yet. God chose me from all my father's house to be king. He took pleasure in making me king. He's not trying to sound super spiritual because this is going to go down on the record as his farewell speech, earning some additional badge of honor. David would have and admittedly here says he would in a heartbeat trade in his crown for a hard hat.

He would have willingly gladly laid down his royal scepter and picked up a hammer. He's honest but he doesn't stop there. He says yet. Yet.

I think maturity is getting us to that point and beyond. Yet this is what God did. He leaves us an example of godly surrender. Secondly, he leaves us an example of godly parenting. Now for those of you that know much about David, that's probably a surprising thing to hear me say. Godly parenting and David don't necessarily go in the same sentence, do they? But the truth is, for those of you who have studied the life of David, you're well aware that he got it wrong a lot more than he got it right and that is so encouraging to me.

How about you? He will fail in many areas. He will nurse a grudge and refuse to see Absalom when he needed him most. He will fail to provide spiritual leadership. He's going to ignore the sins of his sons. He's going to choose to pamper instead of punish and for it he's going to lose the respect of many in his household and nearly lose his kingdom to a son who grows to hate him.

So you might be surprised by me saying in the second example that leaves us is an example of godly parenting. But I got to tell you, and I'm glad I can point this out, that David often got it wrong and so do we. Here's an opportunity near the end of his life in his farewell speech. I want to get it right.

I want to get it right. Look at verse nine. He gives his son a classic father-son speech. And you, Solomon, my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind. For the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary.

Be strong and do it. You might go back into this text, by the way, and circle some key verbs in this father-son farewell speech of a lifetime. And the first one is know, K-N-O-W. Get to know God.

Of all the things I want to tell you, that's it. Get to know God. Then serve.

You see that verb? Serve him. Seek him. That is pursue him. Be strong.

Do it. Do the right thing, is what he's telling you. Now, if there's a key word that makes this speech effective, and without it, absolutely ineffective, is David's personal pronoun. Maybe you caught it in verse 9. Solomon, I want you to get to know the God of your father. See, the worst thing you could ever do is expect to have a child listen to you talk about getting to know God when that child knows you don't care about God. What's interesting here is that Solomon doesn't double over and laugh and say, you've got to be kidding.

He knows it's true. He's seen the tears of his father's confession and repentance. And so David uses this powerful, possessive pronoun. He's not saying, look Solomon, I want you to get to know the God of your grandfather. Man, your grandfather had a great walk with God.

Get to know the God of your mother. He could have said that Bathsheba, his mother, repented. Like one of the untold stories is her own repentance and a nickname I believe she used for Solomon with other Old Testament scholars revealing that that final chapter in the book of Proverbs was Bathsheba's advice to Solomon on what to look for in a woman and a wife.

That shows you her turnaround. He doesn't say that. He doesn't say, Solomon, get to know the God of Israel's high priest. There's a man who walks with God. Or even more tragically, Solomon, I want you to get to know the God I used to know. The God I once walked with. I can tell you, don't imitate me, just listen to me.

That's the worst message we can give. He isn't saying get to know the God I used to serve. Get to know him whom I serve now. In fact, look down at verse 20. David's going to repeat much the same. Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed for the Lord God, even my God, there it is again, even my God is with you.

He will not leave you or forsake you. I'm afraid that if the average parent, if the message they're communicating to their children were put up on the screen, and I'm not talking about the world, I'm talking about the church. I fear that the average message communicated because it's the one we constantly might harp on, would be, listen, here's what I want you to know. Get a good education. Get a good job. Get a good car.

Change of oil every 3,000 miles. Mind your manners. Eat vegetables. Settle down. Obey the law.

Follow your budget. Do your laundry every six months, which would be an improvement. That's all good advice, all of it, but you can check every one of those boxes and live an absolutely miserable life, amounting to nothing for the glory of God, knowing nothing of him, following nothing of his character, making no distinctive, in fact, you can do all those things that I just rattled off and die and go to hell, right? Sinners can do that.

Unbelievers can do that. Get a good education. Get a good job. Get a nice car. Settle down. Obey the law.

Mind your manners. Is that what we're communicating to the next generation? David is saying, Solomon, look, what I'm doing is I'm commending someone to you that I claim as my own, and you've seen my life. You've seen my failures.

You've heard my confessions. I've got to tell you, the best advice I could give you is know him and follow him and serve him and live for him. That's the message. Now, we're not told exactly how long it was between David's last words and his death, but he's publicly ending his life with this message, further proof he was indeed the man after God's own heart. Now, we encountered that phrase earlier in our study in 1 Samuel, and maybe you wondered, you know, how can he be a man after God's own heart and do all the things he did, have to confess all the sins he confessed? And we learned it together, and I'm going to review it in 30 seconds, that being a man or a woman after God's own heart has nothing to do with perfection because none of us are.

It has everything to do with priority, and out of that kind of priority ought to flow your job and how you take care of your stuff, how you mind your manners. In fact, that's the ultimate motive for doing anything of value because we know him and we want to make him known. King David is passing on some great advice and godly wisdom to Solomon and those coming after him, and he's passing that wisdom on to us as we listen in and learn from God's word today. There's more for us to learn, and on tomorrow's broadcast Stephen will conclude this lesson. This is Wisdom for the Heart, and our teacher Stephen Davey has been working through a series called The Singer, The Life and Times of King David. The message that we're in right now, the final song, is the last message in the series.

It's 17 messages in total. If you missed any of them and want to get caught up, we've posted all of them to our website. You can go to wisdomonline.org and you'll find all of them posted there.

If you'd like, you can get the entire series on Compact Disc. We've packaged it together as a set and we can give you information when you call. You can call us at 866-48-BIBLE. That's 866-48-BIBLE, and I hope we hear from you. Thanks again for joining us today. We're so glad you were with us, and I hope you'll be with us for our next Bible lesson tomorrow, right here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-09 05:57:54 / 2023-06-09 06:07:57 / 10

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