Temple Baptist Church - 5-6-2012
2 Samuel 23:1-5
A. The bible describes our lives as a race:
1. A Race has a Commencement - Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (A race has a beginning and an end. Notice that it is THE race and not OUR race. All of us began the race when we were saved and it will end with either death or the Rapture of the Church. All of us are involved in this race.)
2. A Race has a Course - 2 Timothy 4:6-7 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (Though all run the same race, our courses are all different. A race has a beginning and an end while a course is what lies between. Paul said, “I have finished MY course.” No two lives are the same and no two courses are either.)
3. A Race has a Conclusion - 1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (The race concludes when we either finish our course or we quit the race. The race has purpose: the prize. Not to finish means not to be rewarded which means “no prize.” We are to run in such a way as to both finish and obtain the prize.)
B. How you begin is important and how you run is important, but how you finish is the most important thing. I have had some good friends that started well but ended up with their lives, ministries, and families in a mess. When a man in the ministry sins as David, his ministry is gone but he can still be useful in the Lord’s harvest. David certainly started well and then made a mess of the middle, but ended well. Nehemiah ended with his plea to the Lord: “Remember me, O my God, for good!” (Nehemiah 13:31)
C. We have studied the Life of David with all of it’s ups and downs, but the final commentary on David’s life was written in Israel’s history books in Acts 13:22, which says, “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” God never mentioned the failure in the New Testament though He was not pleased with the sin. God’s grace and compassion goes far beyond our failures.
D. In the midst of many failures (Bathsheba, numbering the people, and bringing home the Ark of the Covenant in a wrong manner), David was a man whose heart panted after his God. In 2 Samuel 23:1-7, we find several aspects of David’s character that show why he finished well. If a man ever had an earthly reason to quit, David did and, yet, he continued to serve the Lord until his death. Here are 7 reasons why:
1. He continued to follow the God of his fathers – “God of Jacob” - Verse 1 The character and integrity that David showed in his earlier years held him in good stead in his later years. A wise man once said, “Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people but neither one of them stay that way.”
2. He continued to worship the God of his fathers – “sweet psalmist of Israel” Verse 1 David realized that it was his sin that caused the problems in his life and not either the Lord or someone else. He never blamed God for the “sword” nor did he getter bitter in his heart.
3. He loved the Word of God – “his word was in my tongue” - Verse 2 David found both hope and help in God’s Word. It is in the bible that will find both comfort and help. As the Word of God is magnified, the Son of God is glorified.
4. He was a man who feared God – “ruling in the fear of God” - Verse 3 David ruled Israel in the fear of God and God delivered both him and his people. He was the greatest King that Israel ever had.
5. He led those under his authority in a right manner – “as the light” - Verse 4 He led Israel in the ways of the Lord all of the days of his life. It is only in the “light” that we see light.
6. He was committed to serve the Lord though his family brought reproach – “be not so” - Verse 5 The “sword” never left David’s house and a great price was paid in his family but he remained committed to his Lord.
7. He placed the Lord above his own personal desires – “all my desire” - Verse 5 The bible says that God will give us the desires of our heart when we walk uprightly with Him.