1 Chronicles 29:28
And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.
Aristotle quotes Solon's saying that no man should be called happy until his end. One reason for this much-controverted dictum, no doubt, was this - that a bureau life may be marked by prosperity up to a certain point, at which fortune may turn her wheel. This was, of course, not a Christian view of life; we have learned to look at the problem as one rather of character than of fortune, and to sympathize with the estimate of the all-seeing and heart-searching Lord and Judge. The circumstances mentioned in the text must be taken in conjunction with the rest of the narrative, if we would have a scriptural view of David's prosperity and felicity.
I. HIS AGE "A good old age" is not here what we should call such; for David's life does not seem to have exceeded seventy years. Yet it was not cut short; and, as he was suffered to live for the appointed term of life, he had opportunity to carry out his plans and to see their success. He was, in the expressive Hebraism, "full of days."
II. HIS RICHES. These were acquired by the industry of the population and by the spoils of war. They enabled him to adorn the metropolis which he had won by his sword, and to make preparation for building the temple of his God.
III. HIS HONOUR. He had been raised from the sheepfold to the throne. He had been fortunate in his counsellors and his generals. His victories had given him a widespread renown. And in his spiritual lyrics he had laid, all unwittingly, the foundations of a far wider and more honourable fame. As "the sweet singer of Israel," and "the man after God's heart," he is known throughout the Jewish and the Christian world.
1. The life of David is one fitted to encourage our confidence in Divine providence. The man himself felt, and the sacred historians felt, that there never was a more signal instance of an individual being called forth by God's voice and qualified by Divine discipline for a great work in life. It gives peace and dignity to our life to be ever assured that "our times are in God's hands," and that he will use us for his glory.
2. The life of David is a warning against yielding to temptation. He gave way alike to sins of the flesh and to sins of the spirit, and again and again proved his fallibility and infirmity. Well may each reader of his biography lay to heart the lesson: "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall;" "Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation."
3. The life of David shows how possible it is to serve God in different ways. He was a soldier, a poet, a king, a religious leader; and in all capacities he glorified God. We may have few gifts, but we may learn that the use of one gift is no excuse for the neglect of another.
4. The life of David reveals the true secret of happiness and usefulness. He was one whose fellowship was much with God; hence his strength. Read his psalms, and you will be convinced that this was so. It is thus that strength and fortitude are to be sustained.
5. The life of David shows us that, during this earthly existence, a good man may begin a good work which shall continue after his death. David did not abide for ever, but he prepared a throne for his son; he did not build the temple, but he put all things in train with a view to the work. Let us live so that when we are no more here others may say, "He being dead yet speaketh." - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.