David's Last Words and Death (1 Kings 2:1-9; 2 Samuel 23:1-7; 1 Kings 2:10-12; 1 Chronicles 29:26-30) December 23
In addition to David's commands to Solomon to live uprightly before God, David gives Solomon some last-minute instructions, telling him to take care of some "unfinished business." David had never properly dealt with Joab. Siding with Adonijah was the last straw, and David commands Solomon to deal with Joab's transgressions accordingly. Remembering Absalom's rebellion, David especially singles out Barzillai for reward and now feels that Shimei should be held responsible for his malicious behavior.
In his final "psalm," David says that God directly told him that "he who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God" (2 Samuel 23:3). This recalls the type of individuals Moses was to seek out to place in positions over God's people: "able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness" (Exodus 18:21). Indeed David himself, in spite of his mistakes, was such a man. As God will later state about him: "David did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite" (1 Kings 15:5). This does not mean that David sinned only in this one matter. It means that only once in his spiritual life did he really stray far from God, defying Him through serious disobedience for an extended period. Still, he repented. And despite his egregious transgression in this matter, David was, overall, "a man after God's own heart" (see Acts 13:22).
David then dies at the age of 70, after reigning a total of 40 years following the death of Saul. But that, of course, is not the end. For he will one day rise again, at the resurrection from the dead, into the Kingdom of God to reign over Israel once more (see Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:24). But he will then live and reign as a perfect being, as David himself well knew, once having prayed to God, "As for me, I will see your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness" (Psalm 17:15).