The times that went over him - The transactions of his reign, and the occurrences and vicissitudes in his own kingdom, as well as those which were over all the kingdoms of the countries, i.e., in the surrounding nations, in most of which David had a share during his forty years' reign. Relative to the character of David, see a few remarks in the note on 1 Kings 2:10; (note); and see more at the end of the Psalms.
Dr. Delaney gives a just view of his character in a few words: "To sum up all, David was a true believer, a zealous adorer of God, teacher of his law and worship, and inspirer of his praise. A glorious example, a perpetual and inexhaustible fountain of true piety. A consummate and unequalled hero; a skillful and fortunate captain; a steady patriot; a wise ruler; a faithful, generous, and magnanimous friend; and, what is yet rarer, a no less generous and magnanimous enemy. A true penitent, a divine musician, a sublime poet, and an inspired prophet. By birth, a peasant; by merit, a prince; in youth, a hero; in manhood, a monarch; and in age, a saint." The matter of Uriah and Bath-sheba is his great but only blot! There he sinned deeply; and no man ever suffered more in his body, soul, and domestic affairs, than he did in consequence. His penitence was as deep and as extraordinary as his crime; and nothing could surpass both but that eternal mercy that took away the guilt, assuaged the sorrow, and restored this most humbled transgressor to character, holiness, and happiness. Let the God of David be exalted for ever!
The times that went over him - i. e., the events that happened to him. Compare Psalm 31:15.
All the kingdoms of the countries - The kingdoms, i. e., of Moab, Ammon, Damascus, Zobah, etc. See the full phrase in 2 Chronicles 17:10. Some account of these kingdoms would necessarily have been given in any history of David‘s reign.
From the very opening of David's reign one of his most cherished plans had been that of erecting a temple to the Lord. Though he had not been permitted to execute this design, he had manifested no less zeal and earnestness in its behalf. He had provided an abundance of the most costly material—gold, silver, onyx stones, and stones of divers colors; marble, and the most precious woods. And now these valuable treasures that he had collected must be committed to others; for other hands must build the house for the ark, the symbol of God's presence. PP 750.1
Seeing that his end was near, the king summoned the princes of Israel, with representative men from all parts of the kingdom, to receive this legacy in trust. He desired to commit to them his dying charge and secure their concurrence and support in the great work to be accomplished. Because of his physical weakness, it had not been expected that he would attend to this transfer in person; but the inspiration of God came upon him, and with more than his wonted fervor and power, he was able, for the last time, to address his people. He told them of his own desire to build the temple, and of the Lord's command that the work should be committed to Solomon his son. The divine assurance was, “Solomon thy son, he shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he be constant to do My commandments and My judgments, as at this day.” “Now therefore,” David said, “in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you forever.” PP 750.2
David had learned by his own experience how hard is the path of him who departs from God. He had felt the condemnation of the broken law, and had reaped the fruits of transgression; and his whole soul was moved with solicitude that the leaders of Israel should be true to God, and that Solomon should obey God's law, shunning the sins that had weakened his father's authority, embittered his life, and dishonored God. David knew that it would require humility of heart, a constant trust in God, and unceasing watchfulness to withstand the temptations that would surely beset Solomon in his exalted station; for such prominent characters are a special mark for the shafts of Satan. Turning to his son, already acknowledged as his successor on the throne, David said: “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off forever. Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.” PP 750.3Read in context »
David solemnly charges his son to adhere strictly to the law of God, and to keep all his statutes. He relates to Solomon the word of the Lord, spoken unto him through his prophets. “Moreover, I will establish his kingdom forever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day. Now, therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God, that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you forever. And thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind; for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever. Take heed now, for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary. Be strong, and do it.” 4aSG 95.1
After giving this charge to his son, in the audience of the people, and in the presence of God, he offers grateful thanks to God for disposing his own heart, and the hearts of the people, to give willingly for the great work of building. He also entreats the Lord to incline the heart of Solomon to his commandments. He says, “I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart, I have willingly offered all these things. And now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee. And give unto Solomon, my son, a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.” 4aSG 95.2
David's public labor was about to close. He knew that he should soon die, and he does not leave his business matters in confusion, to vex the soul of his son, but while he has sufficient physical and mental strength, he arranges the affairs of his kingdom, even to the minutest matters, not forgetting to warn Solomon in regard to the case of Shimei. He knew that he would cause trouble in the kingdom. He was a dangerous man of violent temper, and only kept in control through fear. Whenever he dared, he would cause rebellion, or, if he had a favorable opportunity, would not hesitate to take the life of Solomon. 4aSG 96.1Read in context »
There must be an awakening among us as a people upon this matter. There are but few men who feel conscience-stricken if they neglect their duty in beneficence. But few feel remorse of soul because they are daily robbing God. If a Christian deliberately or accidentally underpays his neighbor, or refuses to cancel an honest debt, his conscience, unless seared, will trouble him; he cannot rest although no one may know but himself. There are many neglected vows and unpaid pledges, and yet how few trouble their minds over the matter; how few feel the guilt of this violation of duty. We must have new and deeper convictions on this subject. The conscience must be aroused, and the matter receive earnest attention; for an account must be rendered to God in the last day, and His claims must be settled. 4T 468.1
The responsibilities of the Christian businessman, however large or small his capital, will be in exact proportion to his gifts from God. The deceitfulness of riches has ruined thousands and tens of thousands. These wealthy men forget that they are stewards, and that the day is fast approaching when it shall be said to them: “Give an account of thy stewardship.” As shown by the parable of the talents, every man is responsible for the wise use of the gifts bestowed. The poor man in the parable, because he had the least gift, felt the least responsibility and made no use of the talent entrusted to him; therefore he was cast into outer darkness. 4T 468.2
Said Christ: “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” And His disciples were astonished at His doctrine. When a minister who has labored successfully in securing souls to Jesus Christ abandons his sacred work in order to secure temporal gain, he is called an apostate, and he will be held accountable to God for the talents that he has misapplied. When men of business, farmers, mechanics, merchants, lawyers, etc., become members of the church, they become servants of Christ; and although their talents may be entirely different, their responsibility to advance the cause of God by personal effort, and with their means, is no less than that which rests upon the minister. The woe which will fall upon the minister if he preach not the gospel, will just as surely fall upon the businessman, if he, with his different talents, will not be a co-worker with Christ in accomplishing the same results. When this is brought home to the individual, some will say, “This is an hard saying;” nevertheless it is true, although continually contradicted by the practice of men who profess to be followers of Christ. 4T 468.3Read in context »