These are the last words of David:
“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,
the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High,
the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
the hero of Israel’s songs:
“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke,
the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings grass from the earth.’
“If my house were not right with God,
surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
and grant me my every desire.
But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand.
Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.”
2 Samuel 23:1–7
These are among the last words David spoke before he breathed his last. These are words of hope—that God would continue to bless Israel. It was David’s dying wish that the leaders of the people would continue to kindle the people’s hope in God.
Most of the metaphors David uses in this passage are agricultural—rock, sunrise, rain, grass, fruition, thorns—and they apply to both leaders and followers.
Hope grows when good people lead others toward God. Hope is cut off when bad leaders harm the people they lead.
As followers of Christ, we are tasked with bearing fruit and helping others to grow as well. We are called to pursue God, who is faithful to us. He wants us to be wise, understanding that there will be people who are like thorns, opposing us.
But we always have the potential to grow. Each day blossoms with the possibility of closeness to God because we are loved. We have been invited into a relationship with the God of the universe. He sacrificed his Son for us, and the resurrection of Jesus solidifies our hope.
Reflect & Pray
Look back over your life as a Christian. When did you grow the most? What circumstances were happening in your life at that time? How did God infuse you with hope?
Lord, I want to understand what it means to hope, particularly as I lead others today. Thank you for the growth I experience when I study the Bible.
Teach me how to continue to grow and become even closer to you. Amen.
Devotional from the NIV Radiant Virtues Bible.