A Charge to Keep

Then David called for Solomon his son and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. [He] said to Solomon, ‘My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But [he said], “You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. His name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.”

“‘Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as he has spoken concerning you. Only, 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. Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed. With great pains I have provided for the house of the Lord 100,000 talents of gold, a million talents of silver, and bronze and iron; timber and stone, too, I have provided. To these you must add. You have an abundance of workmen: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and all kinds of craftsmen without number, skilled in working gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Arise and work! The Lord be with you!’ David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, ‘Is not the Lord your God with you? Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God.’” 1 Chronicles 22:6-19

David had fulfilled his charge from God as warrior-king, and now faithfully executed his charge as father to prepare his son Solomon to succeed him and to build the temple he had envisioned. What strikes me is David’s thoroughness in all aspects of passing on the kingdom. Not only did he make organizational and financial preparations, but he made sure Solomon knew what was most important: that he have discretion and understanding, that he adhere to God’s law, that he be strong and courageous and not fear in his role as sovereign, because God had appointed him and was with him.

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Are we prone to supply all manner of things and education and resources for those entrusted to us, but neglect the greater charge of instilling spiritual truths and values in them? Are we more apt to spend our time and energy working to pay for lessons and school and stuff, to driving them here and there for ‘enrichment,’ than we are to expend ourselves in earnest, specific prayer for their souls and character, in training for righteousness, in raising them in the nurture and instruction of the Lord? Do we teach them by our priorities that awards and accomplishments and experiences are more important than humility, holiness, wise decision-making and responsibility? Are we elevating a high view of them above a proper high view of God? Do we give the charge to perform and succeed and win but not to be thankful, to serve, to glorify their Maker? Fulfilling God’s charge for our life is of utmost importance, but it is vital we do so His way: with His understanding, wisdom, strength, the power of His presence, and in alignment with His word. These are the lasting treasures we leave with those in our charge.

“A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify, a never-dying soul to save, and fit it for the sky. To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill; O may it all my powers engage to do my Master’s will. Arm me with jealous care, as in Thy sight to live, and O, Thy servant, Lord, prepare a strict account to give. Help me to watch and pray, and on Thyself rely; and let me ne’er my trust betray, but press to realms on high.”  ~Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

My King, when You bid me prepare others for life and charge them with Your purpose, may I faithfully, consistently point them to You, and keep You as top priority in every supply and encouragement and training. Only in You, and with You, and for You, can we build for Your eternal glory and praise.

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