King David was a big deal. If you’ve dabbled in church, ever read the Bible, his name is at least a little familiar. It’s one of those biblical celebrities that comes up in conversation easily in Christian circles and well-known in Judisam, as well. He’s referenced as a man after God’s own heart, was an incredible military leader for decades, was a god-fearing king of Israel and was a big deal in the Old Testament, specifically in the Samuels and Chronicles and having written many of the Psalms. He was chosen by God to be a significant leader and man about whom we would read thousands of years later. Consistently. King David.
But King David, like any other man didn’t live forever. And so when he died, being in the culture where he was and functioning in the governmental structure of his day, one of his sons would naturally be next in line for the throne. The particular son, another man who had a significant role in history, who would live into this role as king would be Solomon. And like any good father to his son, David had some advice. Not too different than previous charges we read in the Old Testament, David reminded his son to obey, love and fear the Lord. He reminded him of how God had worked in and rescued the Israelites. He reminded him to check his motives because God knows them anyway.
And he also told him to “be strong and do the work” (1 Chronicles 28:10).
David was in charge of building a kingdom, but Solomon was instructed to build the temple. Solomon was given an assignment as king. He was given equipment, supplies, man power and a plan. He had a huge task at hand. He was the man who would be king of Israel while the temple of God was built. And that was a big deal.
His dad, David, knew that it might be challenging at time. Solomon could get tired. There might be opposition. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about why these words were chosen at this point in the story of Solomon’s life, but this dad told his child that he needed to stay strong and he needed to do the work. That was going to be important.
This fatherly advice, these six words, are words that I can’t help but know are true for all Christians today. “Be strong and do the work.” God doesn’t create people to sit around and do nothing. He created us to create. He created us to do things, to build things, to invent things, to run things, to program things…to do the work. But we like to get lazy. We get discouraged. We face opposition. We’re stressed. We get impatient. We make up excuses. We procrastinate. We’re tired. We too easily fail to do the work. At least I do. So these words, “stay strong and do the work,” are a good reminder that loving God, being obedient, checking my motive – all that and more – includes staying strong and doing the work, whatever it is that God has for me today.