1 Kings 2: 1- 9 reveals David’s final instructions to his son Solomon who was to sit on the throne as King after him. Solomon was about to step into the role his father held. A role full of responsibility, challenges and so much more. David, as he hands the reins over to Solomon did not choose to impart strategy for battle, ideas for managing court politics or how to multiply the royal treasury. After 40 years as Israel’s King, David knew and experienced the absolute necessity of walking closely to God to serve successfully and obediently in the God anointed role as King. As Solomon would step into the role of leadership and authority over the kingdom of Israel, David emphasised the need to first and foremost place his life under God’s authority.
1 Kings 2: 1-3 “When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. I am about to go the way of all the earth, he said. “So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in His ways, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements, as written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go, 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’.”
This charge to Solomon to be strong and to walk in God’s ways is similar to the instructions the Lord gave Joshua when he was to lead the people of Israel into the promised land (Joshua 1:7-9). The Lord tells Joshua to be strong because God will be with him wherever he goes.
Be Strong – David does not tell Solomon to be strong because of strength in number of horses, chariots or fighting men. He alludes to an inner strength that comes only from God. David knew the value of having good loyal men with him and that they are an asset to have as your support but there is only one who is the true source of your strength and that is God. The battles that Solomon would face were not always going to be physical, there would be spiritual and emotional battles for which he was to lean on God for strength, courage, wisdom and discernment.
Show yourself a man – David indicated the need to have strength and perseverance as he steps into his role as King, showing maturity as a man both morally and spiritually. To not be uncertain in his mind and easily swayed “Carried about with every wind of doctrine.” (Ephesians 4:14). But to stay true and focused on God.
Observe – David emphasises the need to first listen to what God wants of Solomon. Inquire of the Lord. In my post ‘Let God Lead’, we saw how often and how much value David placed on always inquiring of the Lord. Doing for the Lord comes after listening to God.
Your God – Your, implies a personal relationship with God. David emphasises the need for Solomon to have a personal relationship with God, and not through anyone else. In 1 Samuel 15 we see King Saul refer to God as your God when talking to Samuel. His words and his actions seemed to reflect that God was not Lord over his life. To walk the path in obedience and surrender that God had laid out for Solomon, the importance of having a personal relationship with God was utmost. Hearing someone else’s profound experience with God is wonderful but to experience the spirit yourself is beyond words. Spending time with God reveals the heart and mind of God. And when you know God’s heart we walk better in His ways.
He instructs Solomon to walk in God’s ways and Keep His commands. Both the walking and keeping of God’s commands was something that Solomon had to follow through with, to continue to experience the Lord’s hand on him in all that he does so that he would prosper.
For us: We are to not to automatically translate prosperity with material gain. Spiritual prosperity is of utmost importance to the Lord, the material blessings are His to give according to His will and wisdom. The prosperity that we as God’s people should more concern ourselves with is spiritual and eternal in nature.
For us: We can be quick to want the Lord to be with us but can sometimes lessen the importance of our obedience and consistency in pursuing and submitting to God every day. David made clear that God’s promised blessing depended on Solomon’s obedience.
If your descendants watch how they live – The Lord’s promise to David was that as long as his descendants followed God’s way, their family line on the throne would be established. In addition to himself being obedient to the Lord’s way, David was to ensure that his offspring followed God’s ways so that they could continue to receive that which God promised them. Solomon saw David living out a life that kept the Lord pre-eminent in all that he did and that most probably would have had an impact on Him. And for the Lord’s promise to continue, Solomon would have to do that too.
For us: May we remember that either as a parent, a mentor, a teacher or any role of influence that we might have, the best possible way to show who God is, is to live that out in one’s life. That speaks so much louder than any eloquent words.
David continues with advice on those who betrayed him and those who were loyal to Him. He tells Solomon to exact Justice for those who sinned and reward those who were loyal (verses 5-9).
David’s charge although to Solomon, does extends to us today. May we be strong men and women of faith, placing our lives under HIS authority. Be fervent in our worship, persevere through challenges, listen and inquire of the Lord in all that we do. Pursue our Lord every day. Spend time in His word and in prayer so that we are more attuned to His voice and what He wants of us. Walk faithfully in His ways. Honour Him with our obedience and allow His word to rule and reign over our lives.