There is nothing wrong with caring about leaving a legacy. In fact, there is everything right about doing it in a way that continues your voice beyond your own generation and time and life to speak to future generations about your values regarding things eternal.
As much as David could be rightly criticized for his failures as a father to control his children and manage his family well, he really cared deeply about the issue of Solomon’s role in building an appropriate temple for the centralized presence of God in the nation. And David cared deeply that Solomon himself be consecrated in his heart to have the opportunity for such success.
Though David was not to be the one to build a magnificent temple for the Lord, rather than sulk about God not allowing such a wonderful desire to find fruition, David gets involved in the project by making practical preparations of materials. That is having a vision beyond one’s own life – a vision and passion for the Kingdom of God.
The two passages today speak about David’s preparations and also of his encouragement and words of wisdom to his son Solomon.
1 Chronicles 22:5-10
5 David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death.
6 Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God. 8 But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
David’s Charge to Solomon – 1 Kings 2:1-12
2:1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.
2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go 4 and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’
5 “Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. 6 Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.
7 “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom.
8 “And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will not put you to death by the sword.’ 9 But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.”
10 Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. 11 He had reigned forty years over Israel—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem.12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.
As I shared this past Sunday, I would challenge everyone to write their own autobiographical memoir. Think of it as a long letter – a book even – for the benefit of your immediately-surviving AND future generations. Speak of the events of your life that were so meaningful to you. Trace the hand of God through your varied experiences. Share your successes and failures, and write timeless truths and words of encouragement – your vision – for the legacy and generations of your family.
I was running so late on time this past Sunday that I did not share with you that I have begun this work, though actually I’ve not worked on it lately. But I had a lot of the early years of my life previously written about in a first draft form in my computer. I mentioned it to the portion of my family when we were on the long drive home from a summer vacation to Boston this year. The boys wanted to hear it, so I pulled it out and read from it – much of it written maybe even 8-10 years ago. And they loved it and I could tell it meant a lot to them and was something they would like to have and pass on.
So, think generationally. That’s how we roll at TSF.
I hope our brief time on the life of David was beneficial to all of you. Some of it will appear again in coming weeks for our brief Christmas season series on Christ’s ancestry – The Roots of Faith. Our next devotional will appear just in advance of that series that begins on Sunday, December 7th.