Help for Dying Well

Scripture Reading — 1 Kings 2:1-4

“Observe what the Lord requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands. . . .” — 1 Kings 2:3

As a pastor, I have been present at many deathbeds over the years. Some people knew how to die well, and others did not. Dying well can be one of the best examples of letting go of this broken world and reaching out for God’s hand to bring us to live with him. People witnessing the transition can be changed by it.

David faced many struggles toward the end of his life, and some of those were problems of his own making. Some of the results were tragic and devastating. But when David realized he had done wrong, he repented of his sin, and God showed mercy.

What can we learn from David’s life? For one thing, we can learn from David’s mistakes and try to avoid the terrible sins he committed. But, more importantly, we can trust God to guide us, and we can call on the Lord for mercy and forgiveness.

As David lay dying, he passed along some important advice to his son Solomon, who would be the next king: “Observe what the Lord requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his . . . commands.”

God had promised to establish David’s throne (2 Samuel 7), and God kept that promise by sending his Son, Jesus, born as a descendant of David, to be the Savior of the world. As we celebrate Jesus’ coming in the month ahead, let us remember that God is faithful, that he loves us, and that he calls us to share this good news everywhere!

Prayer

Faithful Lord, in your strength help us to live for you. May we live and die faithfully for our Savior Jesus’ sake. Amen.