1 Kings 2:1-4
Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
At the end of his life, David shares with Solomon the secret to his success. He doesn’t tell him about warfare or tactics and strategies for battle. He doesn’t teach him how to lead, how to gain riches, or any other kind of worldly wisdom. The heartbeat of David’s life was his relationship to God and His Word. He had given it a prominent place in his life and could testify at the end of the goodness and faithfulness of God. And as he prepares Solomon to take on this new role, he reminds him of the importance of being faithful.
Now was not the time to waver or turn aside. The kingdom fell to Solomon’s hands, and he would have to be strong. This was a job for someone who had convictions and would stand on them. It takes great strength—strength of character and integrity and self-discipline. It would involve some battles, and those would require the right preparation, not really so much strategy and fighting skill, but prayer and quality time with God. A throne was no place for someone too weak to bear the weight of it. And the overarching arc of it all leads back to seeking to obey God.
More than what he says, David wants Solomon to follow what God says, to do what He commands, to not go astray from following God and obeying His Word. That is the only way for Solomon to be successful not only as the king of Israel, but just in life. So no matter what our role is or our place in God’s kingdom, we are still to simply obey God, follow His ways, do what He says to do, and live how He says to live. That is our source of strength as we move forward through each stage of our lives and each battle we face.
The question really is, who is going to be faithful? It’s not easy, but are we willing to take up the challenge? It takes endurance. It takes a willing heart that desires to be who God has called us to be and to do what He’s commanded us to do. It takes time spent and lessons learned. It requires faithfully following the path God has laid out for us, obeying His Word, and just committing ourselves to the Lord wholeheartedly. David’s charge to Solomon applies to us all, and if we abide by it, we’ll live a faithful life like King David did.