Isn’t it satisfying when an ending brings clarity? The last minutes of a game inspire a great comeback. The final scenes of a movie explain the plot twist. In the same way, the last days of a life can provide a sense of purpose and reflection.
Before David’s life and his rule ended, he gave the best advice he could to his young son Solomon who would sit on the throne after him. David reminded Solomon of the covenant God had made with him (2 Sam. 7:4). There God promised David an heir to the throne and said that the success of this descendant would depend upon his obedience to God’s commandments.
David had followed God wholeheartedly, but certainly not perfectly. Mindful of his own life story, he exhorted Solomon to “be strong” (v. 2). Strength of conviction and character would be necessary to walk in obedience to God, to “keep his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies” (v. 3). These words summarize the content of the Law of God given to Moses (Ps. 119:1–8).
David reminds his son to obey all that God had commanded. This, he says, will be the key to his success. Of course, obedience does not guarantee prosperity or a life of ease. Even when David obeyed, he had faced tremendous difficulty. For all of us, hard times are a part of life this side of eternity. Rather, the success David held out to Solomon, that Christ holds out to us, is a fellowship with God that sustains us through these difficulties.
As God’s people, our innate desire to obey and please Him comes as a function of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We strive to obey God because of our relationship with Him. Which of us does not want to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant”?
>> Just as Solomon needed God to sustain him through the challenges of leading Israel, we need Him to sustain us in the challenges we face. How do we maintain a close relationship with God? By obeying His commands.
Father, the older we get, the more we see the complexity of life, the more the wrong in the world weighs on us and our cares tempt us to forget our first spiritual passion. Please keep us reliant on You and thirsting for You, day by day.