This week I was reading from 1 Kings chapter two and was struck by what King David said to his son Solomon prior to his death and thought I would share that with you this morning with it being Father’s Day
All father’s have a legacy to leave to their children
As a father, my desire is to see all my kids saved and living in obedience to Jesus everyday of their life
The three desires that David had for Solomon is what all Christian men should desire for their children
David is about to die
He charges Solomon before his death
We are told in 1 Kings 2:1-4...
Hebrews 9:27, “…it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,”
Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—”
The world is as it is today because when Adam sinned all sinned, and ever since, sin and death have been universal and have come upon the whole of mankind.
It is a mystery, it is an astounding fact.
Everyone of us will die
We will go “the way of the earth” as David says in verse 2
The reason is simple
It’s because of sin as Romans 5:12 says
Sin is the cause of sickness, diseases, and death
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.”
1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die...”
But for a Christian, as Matthew Henry says, it is “a way; not only a period of this life, but a passage to a better.
It is the way of all the earth, of all mankind who dwell on earth, and are themselves earth, and therefore must return to their earth.
Even the sons and heirs of heaven must go the way of all the earth, they must needs die; but they walk with pleasure in this way, through the valley of the shadow of death, Ps. 23:4.
Prophets, and even kings, must go this way to brighter light and honour than prophecy or sovereignty.
David is going this way, and therefore gives Solomon directions what to do.” (Commentary on the Whole Bible).
But before His death, he followed the “spiritual precedent as well as the custom of the ancient Middle East by passing on instruction to his son” (The Nelson Study Bible)
What does he say?
We read it in verses 2-4 but let me read it again
1 Kings 2:2-3, “...Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. 3 “Keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4 so that the Lord may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’”
We can group verses 2-3 into 3 areas that David desired of his son Solomon:
First he says...
I. Be Strong (v.2)
A similar charge was given by Moses in Deuteronomy 31:6 to Joshua and by God in Joshua 1:6-7
The strength that David is referring to here is the fortitude or strength of mind that was required to discharge the onerous (burdensome) functions of king (JFB)
It means to “be valiant” (K&D) and “fearless” (Cooper)
Solomon would need this kind of strength for what David tells him in vv.5-9:
Put Joab to death (vv.5-6)
Show kindness to the sons of Barzillai (v.7)
Put Shimei to death (vv.8-9)
Christians also need to be strong today
For the spiritual battles we face from the enemy - Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
For entrusting the Word of God to other faithful men - 2 Timothy 2:1, “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
Father’s need to be an example of strength to their kids
By being responsible to carry out their duties
David was king and it required of him to carry out the functions of a king
Solomon needed to do the same now he was king
In other words, David was faithful, Solomon needed to be too
That means fathers need to instruct, correct, and demonstrate the right behavior
We see this with:
Noah found favor with God because he didn’t participate with the culture - Genesis 6:5-8, “5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
Abraham obeyed God even if he had to sacrifice his son - Genesis 22.
Sometimes we teach the wrong thing...
Jacob loved Joseph more than his other sons - Genesis 37:4, “His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.”
What kind of responsibilities does a father have?
Not exasperate their children - Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
To provide for his household - 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
To discipline - Proverbs 13:24, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
To instruct in wisdom and the fear of the Lord - Proverbs 1:7-8, “7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;”
To obey - Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
1 Peter 3:7, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
Colossians 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
Ephesians 5:22-25, “22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,”
Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
About work - 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.”
Where are father’s today?
Kids are growing up without a father:
“Data from the United States Census Bureau shows that nearly 18.5 million children grow up without their fathers” (https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/america-crisis-fathers)
“Approximately 80% of single-parent homes are led by single mothers; therefore, leading to nearly 25% of our youth growing up without a father in the home” (https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/america-crisis-fathers)
“This staggering statistic has not only destroyed the nuclear family but has devastated communities across the nation.
For example, 85% of children and teens with behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes, and over 70% of all adolescent patients in drug and alcohol treatment centers originate from homes without fathers” (https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/america-crisis-fathers)
Solomon also needed to...
Show Yourself a Man (v.2)
This is literally “be a man”
Some believe Solomon was 20-25 years old when he became king (https://worldeventsandthebible.com/old-solomon-became-king)
Solomon said of himself in 1 Kings 3:7, “Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.”
Solomon wasn’t like his father David
David was rugged, a man of war and courage
Solomon had been brought up in the palaces (specifically the women’s palaces)
His life was sheltered and all he knew about was women
That’s why he had 1000 women around him (McGee)
J. Vernon McGee says, “Solomon was “a sissy if there ever was one.
I don’t think he and David had much in common.”
But in making him king, David wanted Solomon to play the man
Paul gave a similar charge to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
“act like men” (andrizomai, pres.pass.
or mid.imp) means to “be courageous, to be manly,” be mature with a “sense of control, confidence, and courage” (MacArthur)
“be strong” (krataioo) lit.
“be strengthened” (passive).
It’s used in the NT to denote “inner, spiritual growth” (MacArthur)