Reading: “Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die.” 1 Kings 2:1
Death is that appointment that none of us will miss. Old age does not necessitate death, nor does ill health. It is the appointed time that necessitates death. The length of our sojourn on this earth is not determined by the care we take of our health (though human responsibility requires that we look after ourselves), nor on the skill of our physicians (though all lawful means should be employed), but on the sovereign decree of God. the Scripture says, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days…. His days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass” (Job 14:1, 5). When the divinely-ordained limit is reached, all the doctors in the world cannot prolong our life a single moment. As a result, we are told of Jacob, “The time drew nigh that Israel must die” (Genesis 47:29). This is a “must” because God had decreed it. So it was with David.
The Scripture says, “And he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth” (1 Kings 2:1). He realized that his end was near, yet he was not timid to own it nor afraid to speak of dying. He calmly referred to his decease as a “way.” Death for David and for every saint is not only an exit from this world but an entrance into another and better one. David made all preparations with unruffled composure because he knew his death did not end all.
Can you face death with such confidence? Is it a subject that you can discuss with composure? Consider how that Jesus Christ came to this earth to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15). The fear of death would keep me in bondage; the truth of the gospel gives me strength to live and courage to die.
A godly man is free from the sting, but not from the stroke, from the curse, but not from the cross of death. —George Swinnock