The Last Words of David




“Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”

II Samuel 23:5


  1. David is one of the most admired characters in all the Bible. Where was his confidence at the time of death?
  2. He was a man after God’s own heart, and Jesus is called the Son of David; how did he see His Saviour?
  3. To those who love Jesus of Nazareth, let us find great comfort in His father and predecessor’s prophecy.
  4. David only saw darkly the things we see clearly, and he never had the Lord’s Supper like we shall tonight.

23:1 Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,

  1. By our blessed God’s estimation, these are the last inspired and important words of David.
    1. That further events and words of David’s life are recorded after this does not alter the fact.
    2. We shall all see at the end of life the vanity of our lives and utter words: what shall they be?
  2. There are many Davids, but there is only one David, son of Jesse the Bethlehemite (I Sam 17:58).
  3. David came from a low family, low in the family, and sheep (I Sam 16:1-13; 17:12-28; II Sam 7:8).
    1. So neglected was this youngest child of Jesse that they overlooked him when gathering the sons.
    2. But he was raised up on high to be a glorious king over God’s nation of Israel (I Sam 2:7-8).
  4. God anointed David by Samuel’s horn of oil and by the Holy Spirit to be His king (I Sam 16:13,18).
  5. David was the sweet psalmist of Israel by writing the poetry and music for God’s glorious worship.
    1. David wrote most psalms, confirmed by the New Testament (Matt 22:43; Acts 1:16; 2:25; 4:25).
    2. David wrote the words and tunes, and he invented the instruments (II Chronicles 7:6; Amos 6:5).
    3. His psalms are for worship in both testaments; accompanied in the old, sung a capella in the new.
    4. What a man! Sweet psalmist, and mighty man of war! But most a lover of God and holiness!
  6. These fine words here are the words of the inspired penman, the narrator, eulogizing David well!

23:2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

  1. David knew he was an inspired prophet of God and that God gave him the things to write (Ps 45:1).
  2. The words of Holy Scripture are in truth the very words of God (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Pet 1:20-21).
  3. And He seeks to emphasize the fact for the present words, as not being the senile talk of an old man.

23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

  1. To get our attention, David wants us to know that Jehovah, the Rock of Israel, told him these things!
    1. Our God is not like the heathen gods with their absurd mumblings, like Allah of the Muslims.
    2. Our God is the unchanging, immovable, solid, Defender and Protector, I AM THAT I AM.
    3. He is the God of all men by creation and providence; but He is the God of Israel by affection!
  2. The blessed LORD Jehovah gave David advice for his son Solomon and a prophecy of Jesus Christ.
    1. All rulers, in any of the five spheres of authority, are bound by duty to be just and fear God.
    2. If we look closely, we see the two tables of the law – obedience to God and love of man.
    3. The proper basis for any just rule must be the fear of God, not political or financial expediency.
    4. The blessed God of heaven, setting up His glorious kingdom, purposed such a king (Dan 2:44).
    5. The kingdom of God must have a godly king – just and fearing God to an infinite degree. Glory!
    6. Remember Jacob on his deathbed; he also gave advice and prophesied of Christ (Gen 49:8-12).
    7. All rulers should aspire to this just and holy rule; but only one Ruler acquired such a rule!
    8. We cannot limit this prophecy to Solomon without destroying the solemnity and Scripture.

23:4 And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.

  1. Here are two beautiful figures of speech – similes – describing the glory and results of such a ruler.
  2. A godly king is a glorious thing, much like the early sun; but Jesus Christ is much more glorious!
    1. What is more glorious and powerful than a beautiful sunrise on a clear morning without clouds?!
    2. A king against whom there is no rising up is glorious, like the lion, king of beasts (Pr 30:29-31).
    3. A beautiful sunrise is a refreshing, renewing, invigorating event, like a wise and righteous king.
    4. Just leadership is glorious in all authority – marriage, family, business, nation, and church!
    5. A great and just ruler drives away the gloom and darkness of night with his illustrious reign.
    6. But Jesus Christ is the Sun of righteousness, which came with glorious healing (Malachi 4:1-3).
    7. He is the dayspring, the day star and bright and morning star – He pales all stars (Luke 1:78-79).
  3. A godly king has the effect of prosperity, much like growing grass; but Jesus is more prospering.
    1. The growth and prosperity resulting from clear sunshine on wet ground is like a just king’s rule.
    2. Wives, children, servants, citizens, and church members can prosper and flourish under such.
    3. But Jesus Christ brings the maximum amount of prosperity and success in His shining love.

23:5 Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.

  1. David admitted his own sinfulness and the sinfulness of his children and nephews – horrible failures.
    1. He knew both he and his had come far short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23; Ps 14:1-3; 51:5).
    2. He saw clearly his own failures, and those of Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah among others.
    3. He knew there was no possible way he or his own natural sons could possible be God’s ruler.
  2. But God had made an everlasting covenant with him to put his son over God’s kingdom forever.
    1. Jacob clearly saw this great ruler coming out of Judah as the Shiloh of His people (Gen 49:8-12).
    2. God had first told David about this promise when he tried to build Him a house (II Sam 7:1-29).
    3. And He had further confirmed it with glorious promises in a lengthy prophecy (Psalm 89:19-37).
    4. My dear brethren, these are the sure mercies of David – a certain Saviour (Is 55:3; Acts 13:34).
    5. The people of God looked for their Deliver from the house of David (Luke 1:27,32,67-75).
    6. The Lord Jesus Christ is known to the end of the Bible as the Son of David (Rev 3:7; 5:5; 22:16).
    7. This everlasting covenant was God’s covenant, with David as a beneficiary, not a performer.
    8. David did not move God to do something He had not already planned to do (Acts 15:18).
    9. The document of this everlasting covenant is the Book of Life (Rev 13:8; 17:8; 20:15).
    10. The Lord Jesus fulfilled all the conditions and means of this covenant (Rom 5:12-19; Heb 9:15).
  3. The everlasting covenant of grace in Christ Jesus, David’s Son, was and is ordered in all things.
    1. There was no aspect of this covenant not purposed by the zeal and power of God (Isaiah 9:6-7).
    2. There was no event at the crucifixion not entirely according to God’s counsel (Acts 2:23; 4:28).
    3. From His virgin birth in the house of David to His resurrection and glory, all was ordered well.
    4. He was chosen before the world began, and so were the beneficiaries (I Pet 1:20; Rom 8:29-30).
  4. The everlasting covenant of grace in Christ Jesus, David’s Son, was and is most sure and certain.
    1. Regardless of the disobedience of the beneficiaries, the decrees stand fast and sure (Ps 89:29-33).
    2. There are none in heaven or earth who can stay his hand or even question Him (Daniel 4:35).
    3. If we believe or not, the faith of God and His promises are not altered (Rom 3:3; II Tim 2:13).
    4. The God Who cannot lie and swore with an oath is the certainty of this covenant (Tit 1:2).
  5. In this covenant was all of David’s salvation – his throne, his family, and his eternal deliverance.
    1. Though my life and my sons’ lives have fallen far short of the mark, God has saved me by grace!
    2. The Lord Jesus, the Saviour of men, was the desire of all nations from the beginning (Hag 2:7).
    3. There is no salvation anywhere else but in the blessed and perfect Son of David (Acts 4:12).
    4. All of our salvation, from beginning to end, is wrapped up in Jesus Christ (Rom 8:32; Eph 1:3).
  6. In this covenant was all of David’s desire – there was nothing he needed or wanted beside.
    1. As Asaph wrote in a psalm, the Lord is the everlasting Portion of the righteous (Ps 73:25-26).
    2. At the end of life, when the days and opportunities are gone, only heaven will mean anything.
  7. God’s covenant is limited only in scope, not in effect, glory, power, or results. Give Him glory!
    1. While we will submit to the terms “limited atonement,” we prefer particular redemption.
    2. It is the heresy of an unlimited atonement that restricts His death from truly saving anyone.
    3. We know that every spiritual blessing from first to last was everlastingly secured by His death.
    4. There may have been some of his immediate sons that David saw overlooked in God’s mercy.

23:6 But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands:

  1. These are also the inspired and true words of the sweet psalmist of Israel, though disliked by some.
    1. David had spent most of his life being persecuted by the wicked enemies of God and the church.
    2. Pansies, who have never been in a real conflict with hell, do not appreciate a mighty man of war.
    3. The psalms are filled with more imprecatory curses and judgments than all the rest of the Bible.
  2. David called the enemies of God’s kingdom sons of Belial (evil personified), children of the devil.
    1. Doeg the Edomite, killing Ahimelech and the priests, was one (I Sam 21:1 – 22:23; Ps 52:1-9).
    2. David saw wickedness like no other man i.e. Joab, Shimei, Absalom, Amnon, Adonijah, etc.
  3. He described these wicked enemies of God, the enemies of Jesus Christ, as very dangerous thorns.
    1. The glorious Son of David would not allow one of them to escape, a glorious king (Pr 30:29-31).
    2. Worse than wood for the fire, these deceitful and dangerous men must be handled differently.
    3. While David was bound up in the bundle of life, these men would be flung out (I Sam 25:29).

23:7 But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place.

  1. These wicked men are exceedingly deceitful and dangerous, so they must be destroyed carefully.
  2. Men burning thorns must be “fenced” (protected) by iron shears, rakes, and shovels with handles.
  3. There is only one obvious end to such men – they shall be disgustedly and utterly burned with fire.
  4. The enemies of God’s kingdom were many, so Nebuchadnezzar and Titus burned them in Jerusalem.


  1. David was the most glorious king of Israel; and Jesus was His Son, as many of them correctly called Jesus.
  2. But we know Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the most blessed Potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords! Glory!
  3. There are two kingdoms in this world, the kingdom of Christ and of Satan. Which will you choose today?
  4. If David could surely believe Jesus would be His Son, can you simply believe that He is God’s Son?
  5. Let us come to the table of the Lord with reverent and thankful hearts for knowing the Son of David.
  6. Let us remember that this King gave His life so that His enemies might become His subjects and children!
  7. You have been saved through the blood of the everlasting covenant to obey Him in all things (Heb 13:20-21).


“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.”

Revelation 3:7


“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”

Revelation 5:5


“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

Revelation 22:16