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Seeds of the Kingdom

David’s Last Words

by John Sainsbury

19 February 2022

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The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: “When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.”
2 Samuel 23:3-4, NIV

As I listen to the News, in the UK and around the world, there is so often talk about what constitutes good leadership. When political leaders are accused of breaking their own rules, it leaves many people feeling angry and disgruntled about the apparent hypocrisy. Whatever the rights and wrongs of a particular situation, we somehow expect great things of leaders and are often disappointed that they don’t seem to live up to their high ideals. Even King David, often considered Israel’s greatest king, acted in terrible ways culminating in the arranged murder of one of his own fighting men. We might be left wondering is there any leader worth following?

The verses above form part of the last recorded words of King David. Unlike other ‘last words’ recorded in the Bible, which often constitute a blessing, these words form something more akin to a prophecy about a future kingdom, which will be led by an altogether more worthy ruler.

David looks forward to a universal ruler who is righteous because he rules in the fear of God. And because he rules in this way, David describes the result of that rule with imagery that suggests it will be refreshing, reviving, and renewing for all who live in his kingdom, and for the world. When David goes on to suggest that this coming ‘ruler’ will be from his own family line (verse 5), it’s pretty clear that he is pointing to the Messianic King who was to come, and whom we now know to be Jesus.

What speaks to me powerfully about this prophecy is the way that David describes the one who lives in such a way. They are seeking to put God first, they hate hypocrisy and want to please God in the manner that they live, and they bring refreshment and blessing to the world around them.

For all of us who now live under the Lordship of Christ, this is part of our call too. Whether or not we are called to exercise a position of leadership – on a personal or global scale - we too can be those who bring light to the world. As we live to please God, keeping our lives in step with His word, and being people of truth and love, we too can bring renewal to those around us. What a calling!

John Sainsbury and his wife Sue are part of the leadership team at Ellel Grange. John has served as a church leader for many years, most recently as Lead Pastor of the Garstang Free Methodist Church. He has a passion for seeing many brought into the fulness of life that following Christ brings.


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