Last WordsBro. David Chancellor
9/7/2003 11:00 AM
And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
What would your parents last words be? What would they leave you with? What is Jacob saying here? Hes telling Rueben that he should be the leader and the example since hes the oldest, but that because of his instability, he wont be. Excellency and instability dont go together. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. If you would excel, you need to know what it is that matters to you. If you would be a real leader, you need singleness of heart. Singleness of heart means serving God above everything else. Its all that matters. This will settle a lot of things for you. Unstable people cant figure out what they want. People that really serve God leave behind an excellent heritage. People that know God find what matters in life serving and pleasing God. Rueben didnt have the leadership position, even though he was the oldest, because he was unstable. He was too busy pursuing other interests to excel.
And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.
Joshua tells them that hes at the end of the road. God told them that he would give them the land, and he did. He did everything that he said he would do for your good. Joshua points out that if they turned away, God would do all the bad, too. Everyone likes to talk about heaven. If theres a heaven, then theres a hell, too. God keeps his word.
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua gave them a warning. They knew that Gods word could be counted on. He gave them a choice the blessings or the curse. He warned them not to let things come into their lives that werent good. God is a God of his word. Theres a place of everlasting punishment as surely as there is a place of everlasting reward. We cant do wrong and get by. Our lives wont last forever. We have to prepare for whats ahead. Get ready, its coming. We dont have to be afraid of it. Not everyone is going to haven. If we refuse God, we arent going to make it to heaven. The gospel will give you a choice. Some make the choice by default and are lost. Recognize that there is a choice and seek after God. You can make the choice that Joshua made. You can serve God, have him as your friend and receive his blessing on your life. Choose whom you will serve.
2 Samuel 23:1-7
Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. 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. 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. 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. But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands: But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place.
These are the last words of David. God told David that the one who rules should be just and rule in the fear of God. This gives a picture of Christ. David knew hed have some descendants that werent this way, but he was honored to know that Jesus would be of his lineage. Would you want to be like thorns in the hand of God? This type of person has to be ruled by a rod of iron. Our nation has great freedom, but is squandering it. Freedom of speech is there so that we can speak of things of God. Were squandering it, as a nation, on immorality. This is what people are arguing for as freedom of speech. David was trying to prepare these for the coming of Christ. He contrasts the glory of God to the sons of Belial. Christ came to change the sons of Belial.
Jacob, Joshua, and David were sounding a warning about the condition of the heart of man. In and of ourselves, the best we can hope for is to warn each other of the need of something better
John 14:1-4, 12, 15-18, 27
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
These are some of Jesus last words as he prepared his disciples for what was to come. These are different from the kind of last words that Jacob, Joshua, and David gave. They gave a warning. Jesus was speaking of preparing for us. Jesus wasnt just any old man. Jesus didnt talk of failure, but he said, I go to prepare a place for you. Jesus did something about it. He made a way for us to be with him.
Jesus made a way for us to excel. He made a way for us to do as he had done. He made a way for us to receive what he had. We can do the same works that Jesus did because of what he did for us. If we believe, we can be as he was. Jesus provided something for us, if we believe.
Jesus promised to send a Comforter. He didnt want to leave them without. He sent the Holy Spirit to abide in the heart. Having the abiding presence of God to guide your life is the best that you can ask for.
Jesus promised us his peace. He sent peace to these. People would like to take all their earthly treasures with them. Jesus had a greater treasure and he left it for us. He leaves peace and contentment. Dont let your heart be troubled; find the peace that is in Jesus.
But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Jesus was telling them that he was going back to God. These were disappointed because they didnt understand that it was to be a spiritual kingdom. Jesus told them that it was necessary for him to go so that they could have what they needed. The patriarchs observed the need, but couldnt give the answer for it. Jesus could not only see the need, but he could provide the solution (salvation). Jesus made some promises. If you will believe the promises, it can make a difference in you. If you seek God, your life can be different and you can excel. Jesus was the solution to the problem. He gives us an invitation to have peace, the Comforter. He calls you to come to rest and peace. He can make you what you ought to be for him. His last words werent a warning, but were an invitation: Come unto me.