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Devotion: A King Like the Dawn

Today in the Word

Read 2 Samuel 23:1-5

A King Like the Dawn

According to one source, the deaf composer Ludwig van Beethoven said on his deathbed, “I will hear in heaven.” Blues singer Bessie Smith said, “I’m going, but I’m going in the name of the Lord.” Chemist Michael Faraday said, “I shall be with Christ, and that is enough.” Harriet Tubman’s last words were “Swing low, sweet chariot.”

Today’s reading contains the last words of King David—the final message he wanted to leave with his son Solomon and his nation, Israel. These words were a follow-up to his final psalm of praise (see August 5). Rather than boasting of his own accomplishments, David gave the glory to God. To whatever extent he had been inspired and exalted, it was because of God (v. 1). God had chosen him and gifted him to be the leader of Israel.

God Himself set the standards for what a good king should be (vv. 2–4). A leader should be defined by righteousness, integrity, and fear of the Lord. A leader knows above all that the results of his endeavors are in God’s hands alone.

Light imagery is used here to create a vivid word-picture of such a king (v. 4). He is “like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning” or “like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.” Both of these similes indicate a qualitative difference from the usual self-centered, corrupt human king. A godly king would instead rely on the Lord and look out for the interests of his people. The contrast would be like sunrise after a dark night or like fresh air after a cleansing rain.

What David wanted to be remembered for most was the covenant God made with his house (v. 5; 2 Sam. 7:16). This was the ultimate proof of being blessed by God!


What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want to be remembered for, or what would you want people to say about you at your funeral? Spend time today pondering and praying seriously over these questions. A godly legacy begins with a focus on who God is and a willingness to give Him the glory for all your accomplishments.

Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries

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