David was nearing the end of his life. Although he had wanted to build the temple for God, he had not been allowed to because he was a warrior (1 Chronicles 28:2-3). Instead, he drew up the plans and what needed to be made, as well as organizing the Levites and priests to serve in the temple (see 1 Chronicles 28:11-21).
God had chosen David’s son Solomon to be David’s successor and rule for God in Israel. “He said to me, ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my temple and my courts, for I have chosen him to become my son and I will become his father. I will establish his kingdom permanently, if he remains committed to obeying my commands and regulations, as you are doing this day’” (1 Chronicles 28:6-7).
But notice for Solomon to enjoy God’s blessings of being his son and God being his father and to have his kingdom permanently established there was an ‘if’. “If he remains committed to obeying my commands and regulations.” Solomon needed to faithfully serve the Lord, so David had instruction for his son, as well.
“So now, in the sight of all Israel, the Lord’s assembly, and in the hearing of our God, I say this: Carefully observe all the commands of the Lord your God, so that you may possess this good land and may leave it as a permanent inheritance for your children after you. And you, Solomon my son, obey the God of your father and serve him with a submissive attitude and a willing spirit, for the Lord examines all minds and understands every motive of one’s thoughts. If you seek him, he will let you find him, but if you abandon him, he will reject you permanently” (1 Chronicles 28:8-9 NET).
Solomon needed to carefully follow all of God’s commands. He needed to have a willing spirit to serve and obey God submissively. Although he would be king, he also needed to serve – to serve God, doing what God commanded.
Solomon needed to remember that God knew him better than he knew himself – God knew his mind, his motives, and his thoughts. Solomon could not fool God by doing one thing and desiring to do something else, or do something when he worshipped but doing something different when he thought God wasn’t looking.
If he would seek God, God would let Solomon find him. God wanted a relationship with the king of his people! But if Solomon were to abandon God, God would reject him, and reject him permanently.
God was consistent in his promises and blessings. He promised to bless Solomon but it required Solomon to faithfully obey and serve him.
And is it any different for us? Although most of us will never rule a nation, God still desires a relationship with us and this relationship must be based on the same obedience that God wanted from Solomon.
God wants us to obey him, serve him with a submissive attitude and willing spirit. God will allow himself to be found if we but seek him.
We also need to remember that God knows us as he knew Solomon. He knows our minds, understands every motive behind our thoughts – he knows what we are thinking. He knows when we desire something sinful. He knows when we are only half-hearted in what we do as a Christian. He knows everything about us.
God has eternal life stored up for us, something that is far better than a physical kingdom. May we, at the end of our life, be able to say as Paul said:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 CSB)
Readings for next week:
12 November – 1 Chronicles 28; Psalm 64
13 November – Psalm 37
14 November – Psalm 55
15 November – Psalm 64-65
16 November – Psalm 66-67, 70