David has put everything he can in order. Now he has to officially hand over the project to Solomon. But not before giving his last instructions/contributions.
David is passing on permanently the one thing he was never allowed to do; the thing that his heart longed to do. And he is passing it to the one God promised him would do it. This is a tender and solemn moment in both their lives. In this moment the crowd is gone and it is just David addressing Solomon; a father and his son.
♥ ♦ ♥
It has been weeks leading up to this moment. Weeks spent putting everything and everyone in order. Days spent recording it all. And years spent planning out the details of the House for the Lord. Now it is time to turn it loose.
David and Solomon stand before the assembly of all the leaders of Israel. This is a pivotal moment in Solomon’s leadership. David has already made him king of Israel when he called Zadok to anoint him. David’s actions at the time stopped Adonijah’s bid for the throne in its tracks. But now is when the people formally accept Solomon, David’s son and God’s choice, as their king.
Right NOW though is only for the two of them. The moment David hands off his dream to his most beloved son.
David turns away from the crowd and faces Solomon. His heart swells with pride as he sees his son standing patiently beside him. Solomon has been at David’s knee while he worked on the plans for the House of the Lord. They have talked for many hours over the details God has been showing David.
They both have anticipated this moment with joy and sorrow. David’s joy is bound up in knowing that his dream will finally be fulfilled but there is sorrow in the fact that he will never see it come to pass. Solomon’s sorrow is tied to understanding that this passing also means his father is leaving this world soon but the joy of completing his dream for him brings him comfort.
David longs to take his son in his arms. To assure him of his love and God’s protection. But he doesn’t want to infantilize him in front of the leaders of Israel. Instead he reaches out and puts his hand on Solomon’s shoulder. With a warm but firm grasp on his son, he begins the process of letting go. The words he speaks are for Solomon’s ears. Words that MUST reach deeper than Solomon’s ears too. David looks deep into Solomon’s eyes and speaks to his soul.
“And you, Solomon my son, KNOW the God of your father and serve him with a WHOLE HEART and with a WILLING mind…” David has said these words before but this time he NEEDS them to sink even deeper. “…for the Lord searches ALL hearts and understands EVERY plan and thought.” David’s eyes sparkle with a promise he has personally knows throughout his life as he continues. “If you seek Him, He WILL be found by you,…” A hint of sadness crosses David’s face before he continues. “…but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off…” a deep sigh escapes David’s lips as he chokes out the next word, “…forever” (verse 9, emphasis added by me).
David squares himself up with Solomon and places his other hand on Solomon’s other shoulder. His eyes bore into Solomon’s with intensity. “Be careful now, for the Lord HAS chosen YOU to build a house for the sanctuary,…” squeezing a little firmer with both hands and bringing his face just a little closer to impart ALL the encouragement he can, David finishes his instructions. “…be strong and DO it” (verse 10, emphasis added by me). David holds Solomon’s eyes and shoulders just a moment more while Solomon nods his head in acceptance and understanding.
Tears threaten to spill from David’s eyes. He is not one to hide his feelings but this moment is different. He wants Solomon to have the full respect of Israel. He breaks contact with his son and turns to a table that has been set-up on the platform with the two of them. This is where his scrolls lay, waiting to be passed to his son. Before reaching out to take them from the table, David discreetly brushes the tears away from his eyes.
David lifts the largest of the scrolls and cradles it in his arms. This is the one containing all the plans he has set down for the building of the House of the Lord. The one he has painstakingly transcribed from all his notes. The one that contains the visions the Lord has imparted to him. The one that hold the exact measures the Lord set down for Moses in His own words.
David turns and faces the crowd, strokes the scroll and speaks of its authority; “All this He made clear to me in writing from the hand of the Lord, all the work to be done according to the plan” (verse 19).
David turns with this scroll and faces his son once again. With fierce commitment he passes the torch. “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even MY God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until ALL the work of the service of the house of the Lord is finished” (verse 20, emphasis added by me).
Solomon extends his arms and David passes the scroll to him. David then turns back to the table and retrieves a second scroll. On this one are written all the preparations David has just completed. The one where he has recorded the ordering of the Levites and the priests. He turns back to Solomon with this work of his hand under the Lord’s direction.
“And behold the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God;…” David’s eyes turn and take in the assembly before him. “…and with you in all the work will be every willing man who has skill for every kind of service; also the officers and all the people will be wholly at your command” (verse 21). David’s eyes communicate his direction to the leaders standing before him. He then communicates that same promise to his son as he hands him the scroll.
Solomon bows his head in acceptance and reverence. He stands before his people, his father, and his God ready to face to task laid upon him this day.
(to be continued)
♥ ♦ ♥
The only moment I can even fathom coming close to this one in my life is when I was handed each of my children; the moment right after their birth and then the moment after their dedication to the Lord. These moments in my life were pivotal for me. First, I was charged with a new and completely helpless life. I needed to commit myself to seeing to it that this new life would be protected and cared for to the best of my abilities. The second moment in each of their lives was a formalization of that commitment to God AND an understanding of the fact that I COULD NOT do this job alone. I needed (and still do) God’s help in caring for each of my children. I needed His direction and guidance. I needed to search His word and find what He had written concerning the task I was facing. And I needed to wholly depend on Him to work out HIS purposes in my life as well as theirs.
I still have to lay them back into His hands and trust Him to bring about His will in their lives. And I have to continue searching His word and following His direction. HE knows what He is doing with them, even though He doesn’t usually clear it with me first. I trust Him with their lives.
Father God, thank You for trusting me with my children and grandchildren. I know I have made mistakes along the way and that there are surely more to come. But I have placed them in YOUR hands and am trusting YOU with their futures. You know what their ‘tomorrows’ hold as certainly as You knew what Solomon’s held.
I sincerely hope he turned his heart back to You before his death. I hope to meet him in Heaven someday.