1 David assembled all of Israel’s leaders in Jerusalem, the leaders of the tribes, the leaders of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of units of a thousand and a hundred, the officials in charge of all the property and livestock of the king and his sons, as well as the officers, warriors, and all the valiant men. 2 Then King David stood up and said:
Listen to me, my relatives and my people. I wanted to build a temple as the permanent home for the chest containing the LORD’s covenant, our God’s footrest. But when I prepared to build it, 3 God said to me, You must not build a temple for my name, because you are a military man and you’ve shed blood. 4 The LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole household to become king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and within Judah’s family, my household, and among my father’s family he was pleased with me, making me king over all Israel. 5 And from all the many sons the LORD has given me, he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the LORD’s kingdom over Israel. 6 He said to me: Your son Solomon will build my temple and my courtyards, for I’ve chosen him to become my son even as I myself will become his father. 7 I’ll establish his kingdom forever if he remains committed to keeping my commands and case laws as he does now.
8 So now, in the presence of all the LORD’s assembly and with God as our witness, carefully observe all the commands of the LORD your God, so that you may hold on to this good land and pass it on to your children forever. 9 As for you, Solomon, my son, acknowledge your father’s God and serve him with enthusiastic devotion, because the LORD searches every mind and understands the motive behind every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you abandon him, he will reject you forever. 10 Now then, since the LORD has chosen you to build a temple for him as the sanctuary, work hard.
11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plan for the entrance hall, its buildings, treasuries, upper and inner rooms, and the room for the cover [Or mercy seat or perhaps reconciliation cover (Hebrew kapporet)].
20 “Be strong and courageous,” David said to his son Solomon. “Get to work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, because the LORD God, my God, is with you. He’ll neither let you down nor leave you before all the work for the service of the LORD’s temple is done.
We read yesterday that King David had a dream: to build a Temple to honor his God (cf. 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 1 Chronicles 17:1-15). But when God (through the prophet Nathan) said David was not the person to build the Temple, David didn’t complain or sulk. He turned his attention and energy to the future God’s message outlined. His legacy became, not a building, but a builder, as he trained Solomon to be the king who’d direct the building of the beautiful temple.
Lord Jesus, keep transforming me into a window through which your light can shine, into an instrument of your peace in this angry, contentious world. Amen.
* John Goldingay, 1 and 2 Chronicles for Everyone. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012, p. 70.
As parents, we want to give our kids the best of everything. We love them and care for them, make sure they get a good education, provide them with things to fill their material desires. We want to be sure they have all they need to succeed.
How exactly, though, are we measuring that success? Do we consider them successful if they excel academically, climb the corporate ladder faster than others, or gain fame through amazing athletic or musical prowess? In fact, in our society, all of these are used to determine how well “someone is doing.”
But how often do we stop and consider how this success is being achieved? And whether, in fact, we should be looking at completely different markers?
For many years, there was a phrase “I am third,”, which meant God first, others second, and I am third. Recently, however, I heard another version which said “I am second.” God first, then me. This new version didn’t just move others down a notch--it completely took them off the list.
Let me be clear--I am not a fan of that change. And before you decide to call me out on the importance of self-care, let me be even more clear-–self-care and caring about other people’s needs are not mutually exclusive.
In a world where “winning” seems to be valued more than “helping,” I contend that when we fail to teach our kids how to love and serve others, and set an expectation that they do that, we are failing them greatly. In fact, studies show that serving others not only helps them, but is beneficial to our health as well.
God calls us to love our neighbor, not in our spare time or because it somehow benefits us to love them. What better lesson can we teach than to follow God’s commands, love His people, and tend the flock? We have so much to give, but as a parent there is no doubt in my mind that the greatest thing I have done is teach my kids to know, love, and serve God. My kids are proving themselves to be successful in many ways, but when I see them fighting injustice, serving those in need, and loving all God’s people I know that they have achieved true success.
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