Through the Bible Day by Day
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,
DAVID’S LAST SONG
Let us place our lips at God’s disposal, that He may speak by them, and let His words be on our tongues. God’s love is to our souls like morning light. It stole over our hearts in childhood so gently that we did not know when first it came. The happy experiences of those pure and holy years were like the grass-blades that glisten across the lawns soaked in dew. “Thou hast the dew of thy youth.”
When our heart is breaking with domestic or public anxiety, what a comfort it is to look away to the Covenant, ordered in all things and sure. Sometimes, indeed, God’s purpose in our lives seems to come to a standstill. “He maketh it not to grow,” 2Sa_23:5. But beneath the scaffolding the building is rising, and under the ground the harvest seeds are swelling.
These verses indicate David’s ideal for himself which he had not fully attained. The harp became jangled, and the strain lost its music. There is only one King who can realize all that we ask or think-our fair dream. That King is our Lord Jesus.
These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.
DAVID’S MIGHTY MEN
David’s yearning for the water of the well of Bethlehem was very natural. He could almost see the ancient well-head, where as a lad he had gone with his mother to draw water. In the scorching heat that beat down on the hillside that sultry afternoon, nothing seemed so desirable as a draught from those cool depths. So does the exile yearn for home, and the backslider for his early blessedness. But, thank God, we cannot wish for the Water of Life-if we wish with all our heart-without having it. To wish is to enjoy. Our Mighty Savior has broken through the Philistines, and has won for us access to the springs of eternal blessedness.
It was very noble of David to refuse to drink that which had been obtained at such cost. Self-control and thoughtfulness for others are graces that bind men’s hearts to their leaders. Moreover, David’s example suggests a quite different call which modern conditions make upon us for the exercise of similar self-control. Should we not refuse to make any use of wine and strong drink which have cost, and are costing, the lives of myriads? God forbid that any of us should enjoy, for our selfish pleasures, the deadliest foe of human happiness, purity and hope.
And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three.
MEN WITH A RECORD
What marvels may be wrought by the inspiration of a single life! We remember the hour when an unknown youth stepped out of the affrighted hosts of Israel to face Goliath. Alone, so far as human help went, David encountered and defeated that terrible antagonist; but after some fourteen or fifteen years had run their course, he no longer stood alone. Scores of heroes, animated by his spirit and exercising his faith, stepped forth on the new path which he had opened.
Thus the lives of great men light up and inspire the lives of others. They mold their contemporaries. Wesley’s career has raised a great army of preachers and evangelists. The enthusiasm of a Brainerd, a Finney, a Moody, has stirred tens of thousands with kindred passion for the souls of men. The companions of our Lord became His Apostles (His missionaries). His own life of sacrifice for men has become the beacon-fire which has summoned myriads from the sloth and indulgence of the valleys to the surrender, the self-denial, the anguish of His Cross, if only they might be permitted to follow in His steps. Is there anything in our lives that is inspiring others?