1 Chronicles 28:7 (NLT) 7And if he continues to obey my commands and regulations as he does now, I will make his kingdom last forever.?
1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (NLT) 9″get to know the God of your ancestors. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and with a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and understands and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10So take this seriously. The LORD has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.”
1 Chronicles 28:20-21 (NLT) 20Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don?t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly. 21The various divisions of priests and Levites will serve in the Temple of God. Others with skills of every kind will volunteer, and the leaders and the entire nation are at your command.”
David is commissioning Solomon. Much like a blessing, similar to a prophesy, it includes instructions, wisdom, hope, prayers, and encouragement. On first reading I realized that I want to share these texts with my leaders, but as I went back over them I realized how powerful this chapter is for anyone involved in ministry for the Lord.
David, an old man who is the second King of Israel, is getting too old to rule the nation. God has chosen Solomon to be the next King and David is doing what he can to make this easier for him. He has gathered supplies for the temple — which will be Solomon’s legacy. He has anointed his son and placed him on the throne. And now he is giving him the blessings and instruction necessary to succeed.
Interestingly, David doesn’t tell him about politics, civic matters, or social functions. He doesn’t warn him of interlopers, spies, or usupers. He doesn’t even tell him about soldiering, leadership, or family matters. In fact, all he says is to follow God and do what the Lord asks. He assures Solomon that as long as he stays close to the Lord, and obeys him, God will protect him and people will do the work God has asked of them.
David assures Solomon that he has nothing to fear as long as he serves and obeys God.
When I was asked to be a youth leader back in the early 90s, I knew it was from God, but I was never installed by the leaders of my church. It was more of a task or assignment. When I was asked to be the administrative director at Young & Restless, we did have a prayer ceremony, but there wasn’t the elaborate commissioning David appears to be doing here. But I knew it was from God. In fact, this position morphed into a pastoral role and even when I was asked to be the interim pastor, there was no commissioning. But, I knew I was called to do this.
When I was elected to be the Seminary Student Forum president, it was more of an announcement than anything. There was no job description and no mission/vision for the role. I saw it as pastoring the pastors and that’s what I did. However, I knew this was from God.
Upon arriving in the Rocky Mountain Conference, I was “assigned” two churches and charged with the task of raising up another. Even though there was no commissioning, I knew this was from God.
We were asked to start a church in Colorado Springs. Assigned to come down here. This was the fulfillment of the vision God gave us years before. And although there was no installation, no commissioning, and no “official” prayer, we knew that God called us to this role and we are doing our best to honor Him.
God is good and I serve Him first and foremost. There can be danger in “knowing” our calling without the church’s affirmation, but that should just make one more humble and seek God more intensely.
I want to do two things as a result of this text. First, I want to never forget to commission my leaders and give them the blessings and prayers that will enable them to confidently lead. Second, I want to acknowledge the assurance of God’s calling in my life. I will do this by honoring the instruction David gives to Solomon.
As I read this passage, I was struck by how powerful these words are and how needed they are in my life.
Father God, sometimes in the church we get caught up in the administrative details of managing and we forget the awesome, supernatural experience that is reality. David didn’t concentrate on the administration of installing Solomon — instead, after years of walking with You, he anointed his son and gave him all the instruction and blessings necessary to lead the your people.
Oh, how I crave that affirmation. How I long for the assurance that I am recognized to serve you. It probably stems back to a father who was not verbal and was often absent due to his addiction to work. It probably stems back to a mother who was too enmeshed in my life. Whatever the reason, it is time to move on.
Father God, I know you have called me to serve you in the capacity I’m now serving. I know you have gifted me and empowered me to be a leader. I know that I am doing what you want me to be doing. Not perfectly however, for I have much to learn and I continue to make many mistakes, but I am willing to learn God.
I accept your calling and I surrender my need to be recognized by others. Please help me Lord to be faithful.
God, I also claim the promises in David’s blessings to Solomon. He tells his son to not be discouraged by the size of the task. I say, “OK, I won’t.” He tells Solomon that God will not forsake him and that He (You) will see to the completion of this task. I say, “OK God, I’ll trust you to do that.” Finally David tells his son that various people with various skills will step up to do the work. People will volunteer and the job will be completed at the direction of solomon. I say, “OK God, I accept the role as leader of these hard working people.”
Lord, we have a big task before us. We have gathered a significant number of people before us and I’m excited by the opportunity to see your vision come to completion. The Temple is your dwelling place. Since the cross, that Temple has been your people — your Body. It is in our hearts, collectively and singularly that you dwell. This is your church — your dwelling place.
More than a building, it is a house of living stones.
Lord, you have charged us with building up a church — a place for you to dwell. That does seem overwhelming sometimes, but under your guidance and with our obedience, this will come to fruition.
Give us courage, give us hope, and give us perseverance.
We love you too God!