After David has assembled much of the needed items for the Temple he tasks Solomon with its building. “It was in my heart but it is your task now.”
David longed to build a house for the Lord. One that would reunite all the pieces of the Tabernacle. But he wanted it near him too. This is probably why he didn’t bring the Ark back to the Tabernacle but erected a Tent for it in Jerusalem. It was his deepest desire to be near his God.
Before David even laid one stone, God told him that he would not be allowed to build a house for Him. David’s hands were stained with blood from the many wars he had fought. He was engaged in battle of one kind or another since his youth. As a soldier in Saul’s army, as a renegade running from Saul, as king of Judah, and as king of Israel. David went to battle until the time his endurance failed him and his men forbade him to join them on the field (2 Samuel 21:15-17). I’m wondering if God laid the cost of lives for the census on David’s hands too. His hands were too stained with blood.
But God told David that his son would build a house for Him. We don’t hear the Lord specifically name Solomon as the one to build His house but apparently David did. I’m not sure if it is because God said it to him verbatim, if God told David which of his sons to make king after him, or if David chose Solomon over all his brothers for this task. At Solomon’s birth Nathan had a message sent to David and Bathsheba stating that He loved the child. I’m not sure if the Lord called him Jedidiah or if Nathan did.
Maybe it was this moment that made up David’s mind as to who would follow him on the throne. Is it possible that, because of the message, David treated him differently? Whatever it was, David has his mind and heart made up LONG ago that Solomon would be his successor. When he heard that “one of his sons” would build the house of the Lord, David knew which one he wanted it to be. And he worked towards that end all of Solomon’s life.
KNOWING this was going to be a big job, David set some things in motion. The first was the building materials that he gathered. There were a LOT of them but more would still be needed to complete the work. This next part isn’t certain but I believe it anyway: David gave Solomon the plans he had wanted to use. And David gave Solomon help. “David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son” (verse 17). Solomon would not have to go it alone.
David gave Solomon the MOST IMPORTANT of all instructions too. “Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God” (verse 19a). Only then will Solomon be successful. This is the ‘secret sauce ingredient’ to anything we do for the Lord. HE has to be FIRST and the project second. It does NOT work the other way around.
Father God, forgive me for all the times I did things backwards. Continue to be my reason for everything I do. Not to ‘impress’ You or anyone else but because I LOVE You.