TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 23-24
The last two chapters of 2 Samuel are filled with prophecy of the last night and the last day of the life of Jesus. Today, I want to look at David’s last words in 2 Samuel 23:1-8 in parallel with Jesus’ last words in John 13-17.
JESUS’ HOUR HAD COME
2 Samuel 23:1 says, “Now these are the last words of David.”
In John 2:4, Jesus says, “My hour has not yet come,” in response to his mother’s request that he something about the lack of wine at the wedding.
With the woman at the well, Jesus said “the hour is coming” in John 4:21, 23.
In John 5:25, 28, Jesus said “an hour is coming” when “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”
John 7:30 says that Jesus’ “hour had not yet come.”
But, when the Greeks asked to see Jesus, Jesus said in John 12:23, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
John 13:1 says, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father.”
It was in this last hour, at the appointed time, that Jesus spoke his last words to his disciples.
JESUS HAD COME FROM GOD
2 Samuel 23:1 says, “The oracle of David, the son of Jesse.”
David means beloved.
The meaning of Jesse is more difficult to determine. But, it means something like Yahweh exists. It is possible to consider Jesse like the noun form of God’s name I Am.
Here we have a picture of Jesus, the son of God, the son of the self-existent one, the son of the I Am.
John 13:3 says, “Jesus, knowing…that he had come from God.”
JESUS WAS GOING TO GOD
2 Samuel 23:1 says, “The oracle of the man who was raised on high.”
In John 3:13-15, Jesus said, “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifter up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
Jesus is the man who raised up on the cross from where he would be exalted by the Father with a name above every other name.
John 13:3 says, “Jesus, knowing…that he…was going back to God.”
JESUS, THE ANOINTED SERVANT OF GOD
2 Samuel 23:1 says, “The anointed of the God of Jacob.”
Isaiah 53:11 says, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”
John 13:4-5 says, “He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his water. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” Jesus took the position of a servant.
In John 12:27-28, Jesus says, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” But, in this hour, as the anointed servant, Jesus’ soul was troubled, full of anguish.
JESUS, THE SWEET PSALMIST OF ISRAEL
2 Samuel 23:1 says, “The sweet psalmist of Israel.”
This could also be read as “the pleasant song of Israel” or “of the favorite songs of Israel.”
On the mount of transfiguration, God spoke of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5)
God was pleased with Jesus. He is the pleasant one.
As the psalmist of Israel, Jesus plays the strings of our hearts. He is the favorite song of our hearts. In Ephesians 5:18-19, Paul says we should “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” Similarly, Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ [Jesus himself] dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
How did Jesus do this in his life?
John 13:1 says that Jesus knew his hour had come “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
THE PROPHECY OF JESUS
2 Samuel 23:1 says that what is coming are the last words of David, an oracle of David, and an oracle of the man raised on high.
The Hebrew word for oracle means an announcement, an utterance, or a declaration. It’s often used in connection with prophecy.
The first use of this word comes in Genesis 22, which pictures Jesus as the lamb of God offered up by the Father. Genesis 22:15-18 says, “And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, declares [oracle] the Lord, because you have done and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of the heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
So, we have in John 13-17 an oracle, a prophecy, of Jesus of all that is to come after he is offered up. Amazingly, Jesus’ prophecy these chapters touches on virtually all of the same themes that the angel of the Lord spoke as promises to Abraham.
In John 13:7, 19, Jesus said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand…I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.”
THE SPIRIT SPEAKS OF JESUS
2 Samuel 23:2 says, “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; his word is on my tongue.”
The Hebrew word for by could also be translated of. And, the Hebrew word for on could also be translated from or according to.
Therefore, 2 Samuel 23:2 could read, “The Spirit of the Lord speaks of me; his word is from (according to) my tongue.”
This is exactly what Jesus says of the Holy Spirit.
In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
Then, in John 15:26, Jesus said, “But when the Helper comes, who I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”
Finally, in John 16:12-15, Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore i said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
JESUS RULES IN THE FEAR OF GOD
2 Samuel 23:3 says, “When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God.”
Jesus showed just what his rule looked like when he took the place of a servant and washed the disciples’ feet. By doing this, Jesus left an example of his rule for all of his disciples to follow.
John 13:12-17 says, “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
JESUS RISES LIKE THE MORNING LIGHT
2 Samuel 23:4 says, “He dawns on them like the morning light.”
Recall in John 13:7, Jesus said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” This was the night before his crucifixion. Jesus knew the disciples would not understand what he was doing or his last words. But, afterward they would. After what? The resurrection. After Jesus rose they would understand.
The Hebrew word for dawn means to rise, to come out, to appear. It was on the third day that Jesus rose from death, came out of the grace, and appeared to the disciples. It was then that the dawn of the light of Jesus began to shine into the hearts of the disciples. John 20:8 says, “Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed.”
There is hardly anything more brilliant, more exciting that brilliant light of the sun coming over the horizon in the morning. The first light shining forth brings new possibility and new hope. So too, the first light of Jesus dawning in our hearts like the morning light brings new possibility, new hope, and a new creation.
2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
So, we see that light of Christ shining forth like the dawn in his resurrection is linked to the glory of God.
In John 13:31, Jesus says, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.”
JESUS SHINES FORTH ON A CLOUDLESS MORNING
2 Samuel 23:4 says “Like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning.”
Moses would put over his face to hide the fact that the shining of his face from the glory of God was fading. So Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16, “But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”
The resurrection removed the veil that was over the glory of the Lord. Now, Christ shines forth like the sun on a cloudless morning. Proverbs 4:18 says, “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” Jesus is that righteous one who’s resurrection shines like the light of dawn in our hearts, shining brighter and brighter in our hearts until we are completely transformed and conformed into his image.
Then, in John 17:1-5, Jesus said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”
Jesus’ full glorification came after he dies, was resurrected, and ascended to the Father. Hebrews 1:3 says, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” Jesus is the radiant light of the glory of God shining brighter and brighter.
Therefore, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”
JESUS, THE RAIN THAT BRINGS LIFE
2 Samuel 23:4 says, “Like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.”
Just like rain causes grass to sprout from the earth, Jesus brings life to men.
In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
And, as we saw above, “this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God.” Eternal life is to know God, to see God, and to see him clearly.
So, in John 14:7, Jesus said, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
But, Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father if that is the case.
Jesus responded in John 14:9, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”
SO JESUS’ HOUSE STANDS WITH GOD
2 Samuel 23:5 says, “For does not my house stand so with God?”
In his last words, Jesus repeatedly tells the disciples that he and the Father are one. This is how Jesus’ house stands. And, as Jesus and the Father are one, so we will be one with them.
In John 14:2-3, Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that I am you may be also.”
So, in John 14:11, Jesus says, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”
Then, in John 14:20, “In that day you will know that I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
ALL OF THINGS ORDERED, SECURED, AND PROSPERED
2 Samuel 23:5 says, “For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he cause to prosper all my help and my desire?”
God has made an everlasting covenant with Jesus that all things will be summed up in him, ordered in him, secured in him. Colossians 1:16-20 says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross.”
So, God will cause all of Jesus’ help to prosper as well as his desires.
How does God do this?
In John 14:12-14, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
Speaking of making our home with him, Jesus says in John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
In John 15:16, Jesus says, “You did not chose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
As we abide in Jesus and he in us, as Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit make their home, their house, with us, then our prayers become the prayers of Jesus and Jesus’ prayers become our prayers. Therefore, everything we ask we ask in his name. Jesus will do all these things so that the Father is glorified.
THE FRUITLESS ARE BURNED UP
2 Samuel 23:6-7 says, “But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand; but the man who touches them arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear, and they are utterly consumed with fire.”
Worthless men are those that do not bear fruit. Instead of fruit, these men produce thorns, a sort of aborted fruit. Thorny branches cannot be held in the hand.
In John 17:22-24, Jesus said, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
Those that are one with Jesus and the Father have the glory of Jesus. These are the ones that bear fruit, the glory of God. These were the ones given to Jesus. The ones that Jesus were given he holds in his hands. But, Jesus cannot hold thorny ones in his hand.
Therefore, Jesus says in John 15:2, 6, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away…If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”
Truly the last words of David before he died were prophetically the last words of Jesus the night before he died.