Summary of a Good Life

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), May 6

imagesDavid was obviously introduced to the Bible’s narrative as a teenager. He had no idea, however, that he would be part of that narrative, studied by millions. The Bible narratives chronicle God’s dealings with David, while David’s psalms provide insight into his spiritual formation.

David’s “last words” capture the essence of his life, “Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David the son of Jesse, thus says the man raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1). David attributes the expansion of Israel under his leadership to righteousness and the fear of God: “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning like without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain” (23:3-4).

God, the Most High, chooses David and anoints him as Israel’s second king. David composes dozens of songs that capture the greatness of God and the ups and downs of his own spiritual journey. David’s life reveals that a good life isn’t a perfect life.

  • A good life isn’t a perfect walk, but a progressive walk. Though David sins grievously against the LORD, he repents deeply and experiences God’s atoning grace.
  • A good life is one lived in process—getting to know God and finding one’s place in His Story. David walks with God in the midst of fighting battles and loving people. He experiences much heartache along the way, but he never turns his back on God and His unfailing love.
  • A good life continues beyond death. “Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure” (23:5). God’s promise to David extends beyond David to future generations. David likewise instructs Solomon to continue showing kindness to Barzillai for his faithfulness when David fled from Absalom (1 Kings 2:7).
  • A good life worships the Living God. Though music plays an integral part in worship, worship begins in the heart of one who knows God, regardless of singing and instrumental talent.
  • A good life doesn’t “burn all of his bridges” during his lifetime. David makes his son responsible for justice regarding Joab, “Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace” (2:6), and Shimei’s betrayal, “Do not hold him guiltless . . . but bring his gray hair down to the grave in blood” (2:9).

Goodness of life has little to do with goodness in life, but with knowing God in the process. Many “good” people don’t live a good life, but all those who know the Lord Jesus, follow Him with passionate devotion, and live out His story enjoy the true good life.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading(1 Kings 2:1-12; 2 Samuel 23:1-7; 1 Chronicles 29:26-30; Psalm 4; Psalm 5; Psalm 6; Psalm 8; Psalm 9; Psalm 11):
What does David communicate about those in leadership in his last words (2 Sam. 23:1-7)?
David reveals his innermost being through the psalms that he writes. How does what David shares encourage believers today?
The psalms written by David reveal how David fought to maintain faith in God in spite of the prosperity of those who opposed him. What does his battle for faith reveal about those seeking to walk with God?