Chapter 23 of 2 Samuel begins with, “now these are the last words of David,” and the last public words of the great king follow. Presumably, these are some of the most important things he has to say, given he sees the end coming. David condenses his thoughts into 39 verses, thick with the core values of his leadership, and a memorial to the mighty men that fought alongside him to win and hold the kingdom together. In summary: Live justly. Lead in submission to God. And (I’m paraphrasing David here), “here’s a little shout-out for all the people who had my back because you should know I didn’t become the Old Testament Renaissance-Man without help.” That’s it.
All this “last words” stuff got me thinking. What would I say? If I knew the end was coming and I had time to think and write, what would I say? Seems to me, the most difficult thing is determining what NOT to say, but now that I’ve contemplated the whole matter, I think chapter 23 is a pretty good template. There are probably some really good end-of-life speech ideas on youtube that I could lip sync, but truly, if once we get our paper and pencil out, all we can come up with is: Bring a little justice to the world. While you’re being a really big deal (like a king), you’ll make a lot of people’s lives better if you keep your feet on the ground and submit to God. (Keep the pontificating brief.) Then close your final speech by calling out the names of all the people who’ve really mattered to you and gotten you where you are – because you surely didn’t do it on your own. (Make that part the longest.) If we get that done, it may not be of biblical proportions, but it would be pretty darn good.
What do you think?