TWO LASTING MEMORIALS OF GREATNESS FROM THE REIGN OF KING DAVID
At the end of the day as the sun sets on the reign of David, what does he want people to remember? What is the main legacy of His righteous rule and what can we anticipate in the future as the ultimate Son of David comes to rule in the Messianic Kingdom? What constitutes a righteous kingdom and what are the effects of such a rule? David sets our vision on the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant and then recognizes the loyal and courageous exploits of his mighty men – attributing their amazing victories to the hand of the sovereign Lord.
Mittelstaedt: These verses are identified as the “last words of David.” Obviously, they are not to be regarded as his final utterances (see I Kings 2:2ff), but his last inspired psalm.
What makes someone Great??
Cf. business leaders; cf sports figures; cf politicians; cf. scientists ….
2 Sam. 5:10 “David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.”
2 Sam. 7:9 “I will make you a great name”
Psalm 77:13 “What god is great like our God?” Ps. 135:5
How did John the Baptist achieve Greatness?
How did Christ advise His disciples to attain to Greatness?
Only the Lord can raise us up to the stature of Greatness.
– by providing Greatness of Leadership – David looking back; David looking forward
– by providing Greatness of Victories
The Lord has destined His people for Greatness – Do we have a vision for Greatness?
I. (:1-7) FIRST LASTING MEMORIAL: REMINDER OF THE DAVIDIC COVENANT – GREATNESS OF LEADERSHIP
A. (:1-3a) Prophetic Communication of the Word of God
1. Significance of the Prophetic Communication
“Now these are the last words of David”
2. Credentials of the Prophet
a. His Privileged Lineage
“David the son of Jesse” – Humble beginnings
b. His Lofty Exaltation
“And the man who was raised on high” – Divinely appointed
c. His Divine Empowerment
“The anointed of the God of Jacob” – Covenant God
d. His Sensitive Spirit
“And the sweet psalmist of Israel.” Cf. chap 22 song of Thanksgiving
3. Process of Prophetic Communication
a. Inspired by the Holy Spirit
“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me”
b. Verbal, Plenary Inspiration
“And His Word was upon my tongue.”
Gordon: David is ranked as a prophet in the New Testament (Acts 2:30) by virtue of his inspiration by the Spirit (cf. Mt. 22:43), and also in accordance with a tendency to extend the range of the term
4. Source of the Prophetic Word
“The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me.”
B. (:3b-4) Pleasant Ambiance Associated with a Righteous Ruler
1. Description of His Reign
“He who rules over men righteously”
“Who rules in the fear of God”
Examine our leadership – how fair, how wise? Cf. Clemens hearing this week
2. Pleasant Ambiance Associated with His Reign
a. Perfect Conditions
“Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises”
“A morning without clouds.”
b. Prosperous Growth
“When the tender grass springs out of the earth,”
“Through sunshine after rain.”
Blaikie: A beautiful influence seems to come over the earth as the Divine Ruler makes His appearance, like the rising of the sun on a cloudless morning, like the appearance of the grass when the sun shines out clearly after rain. No imagery could be more delightful, or more fitly applied to Christ. The image of the morning sun presents Christ in His gladdening influences, bringing pardon to the guilty, health to the diseased, hope to the despairing; He is indeed like the morning sun, lighting up the sky with splendour and the earth with beauty, giving brightness to the languid eye, and colour to the faded cheek, and health and hope to the sorrowing heart. The chief idea under the other emblem, the grass shining clearly after rain, is that of renewed beauty and growth.
Wiersbe: David used a beautiful metaphor to picture the work of the leader: rain and sunshine that together produce useful fruit instead of painful thorns (vv. 4-7). David exemplified this principle in his own life, for when he came to the throne it meant the dawning of a new day for the nation of Israel.
C. (:5) Personal Application: The Davidic Covenant
1. Accreditation of the House of David
“Truly is not my house so with God?”
2. Abundant Blessings of the Davidic Covenant
a. Eternal in Duration and Personal in Scope
“For He has made an everlasting covenant with me.”
b. Ordered and Secured
“Ordered in all things, and secured”
c. Providing Essentials as well as Ecstasy
“For all my salvation and all my desire”
3. Assurance of Prosperous Growth
“Will He not indeed make it grow?”
D. (:6-7) Pronouncement of Condemnation on the Wicked
1. (:6) Divine Rejection
“But the worthless, every one of them will be thrust away like thorns.
Because they cannot be taken in hand;”
Opposite of Greatness = Worthless
2. (:7) Eternal Perdition
“But the man who touches them Must be armed with iron and the shaftof a spear,
And they will be completely burned with fire in their place.”
II. (:8-32) SECOND LASTING MEMORIAL: RECOGNITION FOR DAVID’S MIGHTY MEN – GREATNESS OF VICTORIES
– Citing some of their most famous exploits
– Constant Refrain = “The Lord brought about a great victory.”
“These are the names of the mighty men whom David had”
A. (:8-12) The Three Main Mighty Men (1 Chron. 11:10-14)
1. (:8) Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite / Adino the Eznite
“chief of the captains, he was called Adino the Eznite, because of eight hundred slain by him at one time”
2. (:9-10) Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite
“the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and the men of Israel had withdrawn. He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and the Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to strip the slain.”
3. (:11-12) Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite
“Now after him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered into a troop, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines; and the Lord brought about a great victory.”
Wiersbe: But why risk your life to defend a field of lentils and barley? Because the land belonged to the Lord (Lev. 25:23) and was given to Israel to use for His glory (Lev. 18:24-30). Shammah didn’t want the Philistines to control what belonged to Jehovah, for the Jews were stewards of God’s land. To respect the land meant to honor the Lord and His covenant with Israel.
What makes someone a hero? What are the characteristics of heroes?
Deffinbaugh: Lessons About Heroes –
Heroes emerge in times of crisis.
Heroes emerge when others fear and fail.
Heroes have been prepared and predisposed to their heroism by their way of life.
Heroes are not frightened by the odds which appear stacked against them.
Heroes are willing to die, if need be.
Heroes work and train very hard, but in the end they look to God for the victory.
Heroes take their duties and responsibilities seriously.
Heroes go above and beyond the call of duty, out of faith, loyalty, and love.
Heroes emerge where heroism is modeled, valued, and rewarded.
Heroes are those who have the courage to identify themselves with God’s anointed.
B. (:13-17) The Second Tier of Three Other Mighty Men (Not Named)
(1 Chron. 11:15-19)
1. (:13-14) Cornered in the Cave of Adullam
a. (:13) Rallying to David’s Side
“Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, while the troop of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim.”
b. (:14) Refuge in the Stronghold
“And David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.”
2. (:15) Craving for a Special Drink
“And David had a craving and said, ‘Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!’”
3. (:16a) Courageous Display of Loyalty
“So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David.”
4. (:16b-17) Consecration of the Sacrifice to the Lord
“Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord; and he said, ‘Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?’ Therefore he would not drink it.”
5. (:17b) Closing Summary
“These things the three mighty men did.”
C. (:18-23) Two Special Commanders (1 Chron. 11:20-25)
1. (:18-19) Abishai – the Commander of the Thirty
“And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. And he swung his spear against three hundred and killed them, and had a name as well as the three. He was most honored of the thirty, therefore he became their commander; however, he did not attain to the three.”
2. (:20-23) Benaiah – the Commander of David’s Private Guard
a. Impressive Lineage
“Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds”
b. Exploit #1 – Killed Two Sons of Ariel of Moab
“killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab.”
c. Exploit #2 – Killed a Lion in Dangerous Conditions
“He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day.”
d. Exploit #3 – Killed an Impressive Egyptian Despite Being
“And he killed an Egyptian, an impressive man. Now the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but he went down to him with a club and snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear.”
“These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and had a name as well as the three mighty men. He was honored among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three.”
f. Impressive Appointment
“And David appointed him over his guard.”
D. (:24-39) The Thirty Listed (1 Chron. 11:26-47)
Deffinbaugh: Importance of Plurality Leadership –
While many are willing to accept the plurality principle from New Testament times onward, some are still predisposed to think that the Old Testament was a “one-man show.” I would beg to differ. God divided responsibility for leading Israel among prophets, priests, and kings. He did not concentrate all power in one office or one man. Indeed, this is where Saul got himself into serious trouble, usurping Samuel’s role by refusing to wait for him, going ahead with the offering of the sacrifices (1 Samuel 13). It was also Elijah’s mistaken impression that “he alone was left,” when this was far from true (see 1 Kings 19). God works through a plurality of people to achieve His purposes. He is not restricted to one person, or even to a few.