Now these are the last words of David.
Thus says David the son of Jesse;
Thus says the man raised up on high,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
And the sweet psalmist of Israel:
“The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
‘He who rules over men must be just,
Ruling in the fear of God.
2 SAMUEL 23:1-3 NKJV
This is the gold standard of leadership.
Although the context refers to leading nations, it applies to leaders at every level.
It is imperative to note that the entire Godhead spoke here through David. Verse 2 says that the Spirit of the Lord spoke by him. Verse 3 says that the God of Israel also said the same thing. This is, of course, the Father – YHWH, God of Israel.
Then it says the Rock of Israel spoke it. The Rock of Israel is Christ. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost all spoke to David, saying the same thing.
Leaders must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
In the Old Covenant era, this meant kings and rulers should deal justly and righteously. Of course, this referred to conduct and it still would have that application today. We must not forget, however, that being just – which means being righteous or in righstanding with God – is now, under the New Covenant, a matter of grace and is an established position in Christ.
We could say, if we apply David’s principle here, that rulers in the New Covenant dispensation should be Christians. The obsession of Americans with having a “born again” President has some scriptural warrant in that respect.
The fact that David invoked all three Persons of the Godhead to iterate his principle reminds us of the biblical requirement that a thing be established by two or three witnesses.
In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
2 CORINTHIANS 13:1 KJV
Evidently this guiding principle of leadership was so important to the Lord that the three Persons of the Trinity spoke it to and by David.
Two important factors must be considered here. Firstly, these were the last recorded words of David. The Bible tells us that David was a patriarch (see Acts 2:29). This means that David was elevated to the same status as the fathers – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. David was massively important to the Bible record and to world history.
This means that the last words this mighty man spoke had great import and should be taken very seriously.
Secondly, David’s Throne in the earth is of gigantic importance to both history and eternity. Jesus will sit on this Throne forever. We could say that God has fused the heavenly Lordship of Christ to the earthly Throne of David. In fact, this Throne is the earthly seat of our heavenly King.
Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
1 CHRONICLES 29:23 NKJV
Here we see beyond question that the Davidic dynasty sits on the earthly throne of YHWH. This is because God made a covenant with David, His chosen – and with his seed after him (see Psalm 89).
As we have seen in previous studies, it is important that we align with YHWH and His Son in heaven, just as David did in his leadership role. David aligned his role as king with the Throne of God in heaven. This made the Throne of David in Jerusalem an extension of the Kingdom of God.
We can do the same as leaders and make our own sphere of authority an outpost of the Kingdom.
David received his mandate and authority from heaven. He also relayed this important principle in his last words.
One thing to consider is that we don’t always get godly national leaders. However, sometimes God will raise up a Cyrus-type leader i.e. a leader who is not a Christian but a man or woman who will carry out God’s will and purpose in a nation.