Seek the Lord.
1 Chronicles 27-28, 1 Thessalonians 3
And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. – 1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV
David’s days were numbered and he knew it. He was fully aware that his time on earth was coming to an end, so he was doing all he could to prepare his son, Solomon, and the people of God, for his eventual departure. His greatest desire was that Solomon would fulfill his dream of building a house for the Lord. David had taken painstaking care to ensure that everything was ready, from the actual plans for its construction, to the division of the responsibilities for the priests, musicians, gatekeepers, guards, administrators, singers and everyone else who would help care for and protect the temple. But David also knew that none of this would come about if his son, Solomon, did not stay faithful to the Lord. The temple would never see the light of day if the people of God did not remain faithful to the Lord, keeping His commandments and rules. After all, the temple would simply be a building. It would be nothing if the people of God did not faithfully follow and worship God. As impressive as David’s plans and preparations for this structure may have been, he knew that it was little more than bricks and mortar if the people failed to seek the Lord and “serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind” (1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV). “For the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9-10 ESV).
What does this passage reveal about God?
David knew he had been chosen by God to be king over Israel. He had not doubt in his mind that God had promised to establish his throne and make him “king over Israel forever” (1 Chronicles 28:4 ESV). David had every confidence that Solomon was to be his successor and that God had chosen him “to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel” (1 Chronicles 28:5 ESV) and that God would “establish his kingdom forever” (1 Chronicles 28:7 ESV) as long as he continued to keep God’s commandments and rules. So God charged Solomon to “know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind” (1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV). He begged him to be careful, because he had been given the tremendous responsibility of building the temple in which the God of Israel would dwell. But David also comforted and encouraged Solomon by reminding him to be strong and courageous, to not fear, because “the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished” (1 Chronicles 28:20 ESV). David knew that God would be faithful. The real concern was whether Solomon and the people would be. David knew there would be distractions and temptations along the way. He knew that the people had a track record of unfaithfulness. He also knew that Solomon, like all men, regardless of his wisdom, was predisposed to half-hearted worship of God. He would find all kinds of reasons to neglect the building of the temple or, worse yet, forsake the worship of God altogether. And David was painfully aware that if Solomon or the people forsook God, He would be forced to forsake them. God would fully expect Solomon to seek Him and serve Him wholeheartedly. The temple would not serve as a substitute for man’s undivided allegiance.
What does this passage reveal about man?
David was a good judge of character. He knew his people well and he understood the risks associated with turning his kingdom over to his young and inexperienced son. This is the second charge David had given Solomon. The first one was in private. On that occasion, David had warned his young son, “may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the Lord your God” (1 Chronicles 22:12 ESV). David knew that Solomon was going to need God’s help in remaining faithful. David could provide Solomon with the plans for the temple, the workmen to build it, the financial resources to pay for it, and the material to construct it. But Solomon was going to need God’s help in accomplishing it. The greatest threat to Solomon’s successful completion of his task was going to be his own heart. Which is why he told Solomon, “Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God” (1 Chronicles 22:19 ESV). The ability to build a house for the Lord would only be possible if Solomon recognized his need for the presence and power of the Lord in his own heart and life. He would need to seek the Lord diligently and faithfully.
How would I apply what I’ve read to my own life?
It is so easy to forget that fact that I can accomplish nothing in this life without the help of God. I must constantly remind myself to seek Him because I need Him. I can’t live this life without Him – at least, not successfully or as He intended. Paul knew this fact all too well. Which is why he told the believers in Thessalonica, “may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish you hearts blameless in holiness before our God and father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus, with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 ESV). Their ability to love one another was dependent upon the Lord. Any hope they had of standing before God as holy and pure at the second coming of Jesus was totally up to God. Which is why their lives needed to be marked by a constant seeking after God. Paul wanted them to stand fast in the Lord – to stand firm, persevere or persist in their hope in and dependence upon God for all their needs. We are nothing without God. We can do nothing without Him. Which is why we must consistently and constantly seek Him with all our hearts, souls, mind and strength. Our faithfulness to Him must be based on our awareness of our great need for Him. We even need His help to remain faithful. We need His Spirit’s power to accomplish the life to which He has called us. David told Solomon, “if you seek him, he will be found by you” (1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV). Seeking Him begins with an awareness of our need for Him. We search for what we believe to be of value. We seek for what we long to find. If we truly believe God is all that we need, we will be motivated to search for Him with all our hearts.
Father, like Solomon, I am sometimes tempted to believe that there is something other than You that can meet my needs. I am easily persuaded that there are other things that can bring me fulfillment and happiness. But without You, nothing else matters. This life is incomplete without You. There is nothing in this life that can fulfill or complete me like You. Give me an increasing awareness of my desperate need for You, so that I might seek You more diligently and wholeheartedly. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men