Passing on the Baton
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1 Kings chapter 2 narrates how when the great King David was nearing the time of his death, he summoned his son Solomon to whom he was to bequeath the responsibility of becoming the next King of Israel.
“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.” 1Kings 2:1-3
King David had lived a full life. He had seen it all and done it all and deservedly earned the right to advise his son what he needed to do to be a successful king, especially now that he was leaving behind a united, prosperous nation, his many shortcomings notwithstanding.
It is noteworthy that from all his accumulated wisdom and vast experience in leadership, King David’s counsel to the young king was an earnest plea to him to observe what the Lord God requires. He simply charged Solomon to walk in obedience to God and to keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses.
And this brings to focus the life David had lived. Had his life exemplified?
- What the Lord requires (My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise Psalm 51:17).
- What it meant to walk in obedience? “Happy are those who obey the Lord, who live by his commands.” Psalm 128:1
- One who kept the Lord’s decrees and commands, laws and regulations as written in the law of Moses? “ I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
While the Scriptures have not shied away from enumerating grievous sins King David committed against the Lord and consequences he suffered as a result, his life is characterized with his return to God in repentance and trust whenever he was confronted on sin in his life. Acts 13:22 records that" ... the Lord made David king and testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”
Given that the Lord testified concerning David in such manner, we can infer that his own son living with him in the palace must have witnessed it first-hand and hence the charge on his deathbed for him “to observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses.”
There is an urgent need for us in the body of Christ to realize that children in our care right now will one day take over from us - and sooner than we realize. It is then critical that first, the training of children's spiritual lives be prioritized when they are still young and not delayed until they are about to assume positions of responsibility. Secondly, the realization that we will be replaced from our positions today by children who are learning about those roles from us, should make us identify with the Apostle Paul when he says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone (children) to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God ... so that they may be saved.”
Dear Lord, the secret things belong to you our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of your law. Open the eyes of our heart that we may see what you have revealed and pass it on to our children that they may follow you all the days of their life. Amen.
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