Sound Fatherly Advice.
“And may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the law of the LORD your God as you rule over Israel. For if you carefully obey the laws and regulations that the LORD gave to Israel through Moses, you will be successful. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!” – 1 Chronicles 22:12-13 NLT
David’s days are coming to an end. He is growing old and his reign as the king of Israel is just about over. He has had a roller coaster reign as king filled with wars, domestic disputes, and enough ups and down to leave his head spinning. But as he contemplates the close of his time as king, one thing is on his mind: The construction of the temple he had longed to build for God. Even though God had denied David the right to construct the temple himself, David was still excited about the prospect of his son, Solomon, fulfilling this life-long dream of his. So he began the process of buying the land, collecting the materials, and providing much of what was necessary for the process of construction to begin once he was gone and Solomon had ascended to the throne in his place.
But David knew there was more that Solomon was going to need than construction materials. He knew from first-hand experience that Solomon was going to need to be obedient. Building the temple would be useless and pointless if the one constructing it was disobedient to God. Over the years, David had learned the importance of faithful obedience to God in his role as king. So he passed along what he had learned to his young son, Solomon:
“Now, my son, may the LORD be with you and give you success as you follow his instructions in building the Temple of the LORD your God. And may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the law of the LORD your God as you rule over Israel. For if you carefully obey the laws and regulations that the LORD gave to Israel through Moses, you will be successful. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!” – 1 Chronicles 22:11-13
David told Solomon that success in building the temple would be tied to following God’s instructions for it. This was not to be Solomon’s temple but God’s. He was to listen to God and do exactly what he was told. David prayed that God would give his son wisdom and understanding, and that Solomon would obey God’s law all the years of his kingship. David knew that obedience was the key to success as God’s man. Then he encourages Solomon to be strong and courageous, and to not let fear or a sense of defeat mark his reign. David reminded Solomon…
“The LORD your God is with you,” he declared. “He has given you peace with the surrounding nations. He has handed them over to me, and they are now subject to the LORD and his people. Now seek the LORD your God with all your heart. Build the sanctuary of the LORD God so that you can bring the Ark of the LORD’s covenant and the holy vessels of God into the Temple built to honor the LORD’s name.” – 1 Chronicles 22:18-19 NLT
David was leaving his son a powerful kingdom enjoying a time of unprecedented peace. He was leaving him royal treasuries filled with the plunder from successful military campaigns. He was leaving him a beautiful royal palace and a well-fortified city in which to live. He was leaving him a well-respected name and legacy of leadership that was hard to match. But the best thing David left his son was his encouragement to obey God faithfully. David knew this was the secret to his success. He wanted Solomon to be a man after God’s own heart just as he was. And at the end of the day, the best way to recognize a man after God’s own heart is through his life of faithful, consistent obedience. Sure, there were days David disobeyed and failed to follow God’s plan. But he always returned to God, recognizing his sin, taking responsibility for it, and repenting of it. He wanted Solomon to understand that the temple would be useless and impractical if the God for whom it was being built never occupied it. And the quickest way to make that happen would be through disobedience.
David left Solomon a lot, but the best thing he left him was some sound fatherly advice. “Now seek the Lord your God with all your heart.”
Father, may that be the advice I leave my own children. May I learn that there is nothing I can leave behind that is more valuable than my understanding that faithful obedience to You is the key to real success. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men