Saturday, December 3, 2011

Daily Devotional December 3rd.

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.

David had returned to his capital city, Jerusalem. All serious challenges to his authority were now behind him. He was about to die at age 70, having ruled Judah for 7 years and as king over all Israel for another 33 years.

Indeed David was a very remarkable man. He had great ability, great insight, great grace. As a soldier he was a mighty man of valor. As a poet he was the "sweet psalmist of Israel." He was decisive in politics and chivalrous in war. But he was as human as he was great. Perhaps it's that quality about David that makes the man so lovable to us. David had boundless love for Jehovah and an unshakable faith and loyalty to Him. While he frequently stumbled and fell, he always knew how to get hold of God, ask forgiveness and go on for God. He had a true hunger to know the will of God and do it.

Second Samuel 23:1 claims to record the last words of David. Although these are the last literary or poetic words, David's final dying words are not recorded until 1 Kings 2. David describes the kind of man God would have as king of Israel. "He that ruleth over men must be just" (2 Samuel 23:3). One who would be king, president, prime minister or any leader can never assume he or she possesses the qualifications for these important tasks unless that person has a sense of justice that is more than human. Human justice views all men as created equal. Divine justice views all men as created equal before God, a God with whom all men have to do. This is why the next clause is so important. A godly leader is one "ruling in the fear of God."

When Jethro counseled Moses about organizing Israel, he said, "Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens" (Exodus 18:21). As important as it is that a ruler be just, the capability to be just arises only out of a fear of God. God would have no one rule Israel who did not fear Him.

How can we draw upon the resource of the fear of God in order to be just to all men? We must depend upon our hidden resources. All nature depends on hidden resources. Rivers, deep and wide, have their sources in the snowcapped mountains. Great trees are only as strong as the part you cannot see, their root system. The entire earth draws upon the water and minerals under the ground, their hidden resources. A ruler in America, in Israel or anywhere in the world will only be as great as his fear of God, and his fear of God will only be as deep as his hidden resources in God. This is why choosing a nation's leader must go beyond partisan politics, beyond basic morality, beyond simple decency.

David was keenly aware that he had not always exhibited the fear of God, the kind of fear that is pure, pristine, and clear. He describes the just man who fears God as one who "shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds" (2 Samuel 23:4). This kind of clearness and brightness comes only to a man who seeks the Lord, his hidden resource, early in the morning, before he begins to make the decisions of his day. Let's pray that God will give us that kind of ruler...Have a great day. Thank God and thank you.

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