It is an unfortunate flaw in the natural man, that we are often quick to pass judgment upon others. Paul in speaking to the Corinthians warned them of this trait and exhorted them to wait upon the LORD who works all things after the council of HIS own will. “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” (1Cor 4:5) Many accused Paul of not being a true apostle, even though the signs of an apostle accompanied him wherever he went. Religious men, who embrace their own carnality, desire to hear and proclaim words which leave their own ideas, unchallenged, and often speak ill of those who might disagree with them or look at things from a different perspective. This is especially true of those who desire “to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1Tim 1:7) Paul ran into his share of such men wherever he went.
If one judges things “before the time”, he would never believe it possible that such a man as Saul of Tarsus, could ever become Paul the Apostle. He could never imagine that a condemned thief, could be brought to confess the LORDSHIP of CHRIST as he hung, bleeding and suffering upon a cruel cross. Neither could he foresee a despised tax collector climbing a tree and gladly receiving a command from the LORD. The list could go on and on.
A man of some note (I do not recall who) was asked what he would be amazed at when he got to heaven. He said (words to this effect); there will be many there who I would never have thought would be there, there will be many who I thought would be there who will not, but the most amazing thing is that I (by the grace of GOD) will be there. It is foolish to think that we can identify the elect at a particular juncture. In like fashion we must not judge who those are who are sent by GOD simply because they do not come saying exactly what we say.
Now to be sure the sons of GOD are exhorted to “judge all things”, but we must daily ask for grace to “judge righteous judgment” which is always done in humility, knowing that we know nothing as we ought to know. The LORD said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Mat 10:16) We will all be surprised one day to find out how little we knew of heavenly things, and how much less we knew of GOD’s wondrous workings in those whom HE calls HIS own. (see the example of Job)
The LORD often saves the best for last and gives HIS children insights into heavenly things that they can appreciate more fully towards the end of their days. A man can ramble on about many things that may be of some profit to the sons of GOD, but as the LORD told Martha, “one thing is needful”. Oh that we might be given grace to choose that better part. It will always be that which Paul confessed, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1Cor 2:2)
We read in Second Samuel of the “last words” of David. These words are significant because they give us insight into the grace which kept David, while the world, his flesh, and Satan conspired to destroy him. Such is the case with all of the sons of GOD, for HE will not forsake HIS own, even though it may appear so when the ravages of time and age have taken their toll on these feeble houses of clay. One cannot know what goes on in the mind and spirit of the sons of GOD when they are in such states of decay. But we can know that their testimony of faith in CHRIST is not diminished even though their bodies may be, for CHRIST is their STRENGH and SHIELD, and HE will supply their every need. HE is their FAITH.
The latter end of David is much like most men. He who once wielded a mighty sword to cut off the head of Goliath was eventually brought to a bed of feebleness where he could never even get warm, except it be by extreme measures. He commanded no armies in that state, but he was nonetheless a mighty warrior in the army of GOD. The LORD does not need the vibrancy and strength of youth but will demonstrate HIS faithfulness and grace to those HE loves; even to the very end of these tottering earthly tabernacles.
It does not matter how eloquent or powerful a man might have been, or how mightily he might have been used by the LORD. All will ultimately be stripped of such things as the weakness of their body is demonstrated and their SUSTAINER’s hands of mercy holds them tightly to HIS bosom. “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” (Deut. 33:27)
In David’s “last words” he confessed that in all of those anointed Psalms that he wrote, it was the power and grace of GOD that brought them to pass. “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” (2Sam 23:2) This is akin to that which Paul taught “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”(1Co 4:7) The man who is taught by the SPIRIT of GOD can never glory in his own abilities and power, but must give all glory to HIM who led captivity captive and gave gifts to men.
In David’s “last words” he spoke prophetically of CHRIST. “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” (2Sam 23:3) CHRIST is that ROCK. Though he saw very dimly as an Old Testament prophet he knew that CHRIST would come. In full revelation we now see that CHRIST is the SPOKESMAN of GOD. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” (Heb 1:1-2) CHRIST alone is that JUST KING and RULER who came to do HIS FATHER’s will.
In David’s “last words”, he spoke of HIM who is the LIGHT of the world. “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.” (2Sa 23:4) For HE would dispel the darkness which held men in chains. The morning has broken as the BRIGHT and MORNING STAR has now come. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor 4:6) “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isa 9:2)
In David’s “last words” he spoke of a “covenant keeping GOD”. “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”(2Sam 23:5) The covenant blessings of GOD come to HIS people through CHRIST to whom all covenant promises have been made. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Gal 3:16) The LORD declared the results of this covenant when HE said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) The last words of John are “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev 22:20-21)