WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 8, 2012
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TRUE TO THE END
(Those who lead in righteousness bring GOD’s security)
(2 Samuel 23:1-7)
The passage of Second Samuel 23, verses 1-7 is commonly considered to be David’s “last words”, but, in reality, they are actually his last recorded “HOLY SPIRIT inspired words”. Here we see a psalm that was probably written to his son, Solomon, during the final days of David’s life. It is not one of the psalms found in the collection of the 73 other known psalms that are accredited to him in the Psalter. In fact, this, his final known literary effort, can only be found here in this passage of Scripture.
Theologically, this oracle by David peers into the future, looking forward to a time when good will finally triumph over evil, and the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant will be realized through the MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST. However, the overriding theme of this psalm is geared toward GODly leadership, and so it becomes just as important for leaders in this twenty-first century to hear, as it may have been for King Solomon to hear, back in the tenth century B.C.
David may not have been a sinless man, but he readily asserts that GOD has blessed him throughout his life. As the youngest son of his father, Jesse, David had been chosen and anointed by GOD to be king over Israel as a teenager, while he still shepherded his father’s sheep. It would actually be another fifteen years before he was officially crowned as the second king of his people, Israel. The LORD also gifted him with the ability to play and compose music, and he became a favorite in Israel for many years.
In verse 2 of this passage, David affirms that he was aware that the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD spoke through him to the nation of Israel. He believed that this led him to be a righteous leader, throughout his reign as king. He even asserted that “a king who rules as an agent of GOD is like the brilliance of sunshine on a cloudless morning, and like a clear day after the rain”. This is perhaps one of the best arguments in scripture that the bible is truly the inspired word of GOD, and the LORD’s great message to man. The Scriptures are SPIRIT-led so that man might have a reliable and relevant source to call upon for directions, when and before, all else fails.
David continued to marvel, throughout his lifetime, about the privilege he felt that GOD had chosen him to be king, and to also lead HIS people, fight HIS battles, and even, to write HIS words on the hearts of men forever. GOD had also equipped him to know, and desire to obey, HIS written word.
Yes, David loved and enjoyed “the privileges of leadership” for the most part, but he was also willing to shoulder the burden and “responsibility of leadership” that came with it. He never lost sight of the fact that “responsibility is always the obverse of privilege”, a divine concept that most of his fellow Israelites either frequently forgot, or failed to ever grasp at all, in their lifetimes as “GOD’s Chosen People”. They were supposed to be a shining representation of GOD here on earth, or, in more popular terms, they were set apart by GOD to be, “A Light to the World”.
GOD revealed to David the importance of the task that he had been assigned to do, and that, among GOD’s people, the king was to rule with justice. A king of Israel was never to operate outside the Will of GOD, and they were never themselves, above GOD’s Law. They were to always lead the people according to GOD’s standards, and not their own. And although they wielded a huge amount of authority, they were to always exercise that authority with humbleness and submission to the divine authority of GOD.
A GODly leader is one who seeks to provide an atmosphere in which GOD’s people can flourish and live right under GOD, fulfilling their purpose in life, to, and for, GOD. Without righteousness and a healthy fear of the LORD, a leader becomes a “dictator” who can only end up abusing GOD’s people.
A GODly leader has to be a man who can serve, as well as a servant who can lead, and David, was just such a person. And like all the other great leaders under GOD, who came before and after him, he learned how to lead GOD’s people, GOD’s way. And despite the sins that he committed that have now become so infamous in his legacy, he can still be looked upon by Christians, and non-Christians alike, as one of the greatest leaders in any era of world history.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
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