Journey Through The Scriptures

David, Part III

Lesson 7: Last Days and Death of David

(Scripture to Read: 2 Samuel 24:11 2 Kings 2:46)

The incident of David’s sinful census and the plague that followed is probably not given in chronological order, since it is difficult to know when this occurred. More likely it was added as something of a footnote to David’s reign—but the lesson is worth learning. In a moment of weakness, David chose to rely on numbers instead of the Lord, and his actions had severe consequences for his people. Once again we see the complex man Joab trying to stop David from what Joab rightly perceived to be an action that would displease the Lord. But David persisted, and the royal order was carried out.

One good result came from this incident, the purchase of the land for the Temple to be built by Solomon. David’s final days are recorded in the opening chapters of 1 Kings, including the struggle for succession and all the court intrigue that went with it. David’s final charge to Solomon contained both spiritual instruction and practical directions in a effort to ensure the righteous nature of Solomon’s reign and his freedom from treacherous enemies. In the struggle for the throne, another son of David would lose his life—Adonijah (2 Kings 2:25).

Study Questions

  1. Why was Israel judged so harshly in the matter of David’s census?
  2. How did David show his sense of the great value attached to the worship of God and the offering of sacrifices to Him?
  3. Why was Adonijah so quick to proclaim himself king even before David had died?
  4. How did Adonijah’s death complete the tragic prophecy of judgment made against David’s family for his deceitful sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:6)?

Something to Think About

It is good to be reminded once again that for all of his imperfections, David exemplified a God-honoring life. He was zealous for the glory and honor of God’s name, and he showed great mercy to those who could do nothing in return for him. A good word to sum up David’s life is the biblical word hesed, which describes God’s own loving kindness to us.