David has set in order what he can for Solomon. He stands before the leaders of Israel and charges them with following the will of God; with Solomon, the Temple, and as a people.
The assembly before David is a specially chosen one. It contains ALL the officials of Israel. But it also contains a few special people to David. “The officials of the tribes, the officers of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of thousands, the commanders of hundreds, the stewards of all the property and livestock of the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty men and all the seasoned warriors” (verse 1b).
David’s sons probably had positions of authority. Some of his mighty men probably had official positions too. But David chose to include ALL his mighty men and seasoned warriors. These men were close to him. He fought with them in battles and he trusted them with his life. Now he was entrusting them with his son Solomon and his own dream.
I was thinking that this assembly came before Solomon was made king. Before Adonijah tried to take the throne with his ‘coronation party’, involving several officials of Israel. But I skipped ahead and found this not to be so. In 1 Chronicles 29:22b we are told “And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and they anointed him as prince for the Lord and Zadok as priest.” This means that he was already anointed when David made his speech before the congregation. David’s speech before all the leaders then was to affirm in public what had been rushed in secret.
David wanted it clear to ALL Israel that Solomon was God’s choice to follow him on the throne. He also wanted it known that Solomon had a specific project that was passed onto him by David and God. What better way to establish this than before ALL the leaders. There remains now NO confusion as to the direction of the kingdom.
In the final verse of today’s reading David makes a double charge. In the previous verse he proclaims for all to hear the Lord’s words to him concerning the Temple and Solomon. He also gives them a BIG ‘if’ to deal with. “I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues strong in keeping My commandments and My rules, as he is today” (verse 7). These are the very words God spoke to David. David speaks them for all to hear. And then he charges ALL assembled with this same ‘if’ he charges Solomon with.
Every person in the assembly is responsible for keeping this charge of David’s. They may not be named directly or even realize they are being addressed but they are. A nation cannot stand unless the people are willing to follow the directives of its leaders. “Now therefore in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek out all the commandments of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever” (verse 8). God was calling each of them, through David, to choose to follow Him and His commandments.
God calls us to follow Him too. But Jesus’ work on the cross removes the ‘if’ sting. Our relationship with God is not dependent on our every action. We could NEVER live up to that ‘if’ any more that Israel could. We ALL fall short and need His forgiveness. Jesus’ work made it possible for us to overcome the ‘if’ factor. We now have the ‘when’ factor. ‘When’ we give our lives to God and accept His Son Jesus as Lord of our lives we become His. And He gives us a new heart. That heart desires to please Him and He works with us as we move closer to the person He created us to be. Stumbles don’t end that relationship. But choosing to have continual sin in our lives stops our relationship flow. He won’t leave us but He also won’t bless our habitual sin.
Thank You Father that Jesus came to make a permanent relationship possible with You. I know I would be forever going back for another animal sacrifice if I were under the Law. Thank You too for working in my heart to where what I once called ‘acceptable’, even though I knew it was wrong, doesn’t reign in my life. YOU have changed my heart; hour by hour, day by day and year by year. YOU bring me closer to You. THANK YOU! I cannot imagine my life without You. Please keep working on me. I KNOW I still have a long way to go.