“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.” – 1 Chronicles 28:9-10
David is charging Solomon with the building of the temple, and as he does it, he delivers some key advice for his son – advice that comes from a lifetime of service to God. Not a lifetime free of faults, but a lifetime that has had repeated opportunities to fail, repent, learn, and grow.
“know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind,”
David was a sinner, but he was also a man after God’s own heart. How? Because probably more than any other person we read of in the Bible, David understood the importance of repentance. He wrote about it extensively in the Psalms, and the writers of the books of the kings in the Old Testament also spoke of his actions when confronted with his sin. David saw God pour out blessings on his life time and again, not because he was perfect, but because he would surrender when confronted with his sin and turn his face to God and away from a self-serving path.
“the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought”
God is not fooled by the agendas of men. He knows our hearts and motives even when we claim to be living a life in service to Him. He knows the areas of my life I am unwilling to repent in. If I am not in complete surrender to His plans I am not fooling Him. The verse goes on to say that my heart’s attitude will have a great bearing on my future. I can repent and yield or I can continue to play games. The problem with those games is that God may allow something painful to come into my life to help me realize my need for Him and His direction. I am still learning to remember that.
“Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.”
I think this was more than an instruction in how to build a building. I would like to think that as a father, David was building into his son’s life here as well. The correlations to building the temple for the Holy Spirit in our hearts just seems too obvious to me.
Be Careful – We need to approach the work we do for God with the right attitude. The work may be fun sometimes, but it is an important work, and we need to give it the care that it deserves. We also need to be aware that Satan will oppose that work. When he sees your life tuned to God’s will, he will set obstacles and traps in front of us. He wants to see us derailed from the work we have been given. Solomon did fail in a large part of his life. He allowed himself to be derailed by his desire for the things of the world. He lived a life that he himself called vain or worthless. We need to be careful.
Be Strong – A person does not get strong in a day. It takes time to build strength physically, and likewise we need to exercise ourselves spiritually so we will be ready for the task ahead. It takes determination, discipline, and resolve to go back in to the “weight room” of God’s Word, to do the “aerobic” activity of prayer, and to do the necessary “stretching” of putting your faith in the unseen. It takes work, but it is necessary for the day that we are called by God to act!
Do It – There is not a lot of description necessary. When God calls you up, it is time to step into action for Him. You have prepared your mind and are ready to approach the mission given with care and purpose. You have prepared spiritually for the exertion that will come in the mission. You know that you have all you need in the Spirit to get the job done because you are not doing it. God is! It is a natural outflow of a life that has been immersed in a relationship with God.
This was a very real lesson for me today. It is starting to hit me lately just how often I have put these things in the wrong order, but I see that now. I am thankful for a God that allows me to make mistakes and grow from them. I am thankful that He wants to know me, and I want to be a man after God’s heart too.