S (Scripture): 1 Chronicles 22:5b So David made extensive preparations before he died.
6 He summoned his son Solomon and charged him to build a temple for the Lord God of Israel.
11 “Now, my son, may the Lord be with you! May you succeed and build a temple for the Lord your God, just as he announced you would. 12 Only may the Lord give you insight and understanding when he places you in charge of Israel, so you may obey the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will succeed, if you carefully obey the rules and regulations which the Lord ordered Moses to give to Israel. Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! 14 Now, look, I have made every effort to supply what is needed to build the Lord’s temple.”
O (Observation): David wanted to build a house for the Lord, but the Lord refused this request. David had too much blood on his hands to be the one to build a house for the Lord. Instead God had a plan to use his son, Solomon, to build the temple.
God promised that Solomon would be in a place of peace and that God would keep his enemies from him while he was building the temple.
While being one of the chosen ones through which a great lineage would come, David still had a rough go of it in his later years – especially with that whole thing with Bathsheba and her husband. Not to mention all of the people David killed at the Lord’s command.
Solomon, instead, through no doing of his own, would be the one to build this temple. Not only this, but his supplies were pretty much already in place! David had gathered tons of gold, silver, bronze, and many other building supplies.
Solomon was born into this family, at this time, with these supplies…and a command from God. He was born into quite the setting. Sometimes, you just get put in the right situation. (Yes, he had quite a lot of work before him, but he was setup quite nicely.)
A (Application): Barry Switzer once said: “Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”
Barry Switzer was a college football and pro football coach who is a sort of rags-to-riches kind of a story, who related better to players who grew up poor (like himself) than to those born into riches.
This is not a post about Barry Switzer, but I thought of this Switzer quote as I was reading this Old Testament text above from 1 Chr 22. Sometimes we just find ourselves in a situation from which we will benefit greatly. Sometimes we just find ourselves in a situation in which we are simply trying to survive.
David grew up as the runt of the litter, but eventually was called upon to serve God. Solomon found himself in the midst of riches and in a position of power, and was called upon to serve God.
Stories like that of David and Solomon – along with the Switzer quote above – remind me that we can find ourselves in either those situations throughout our lives. We may find that we don’t have much to work with, but we’re still called to serve. We may find that we have everything we need, and we are called to serve with those resources. In either case, we are called to serve, and to do so humbly and with intentionality.
We are called to take our current situation, give thanks to God for whatever we might have – even if it is only the air we breathe -and do what we can with that. Coming from a life of privilege, these words may seem a bit empty, and I get that.
I was most certainly born on third base, by the world’s standards. So I see myself mostly as Solomon – given what I need and working hard to use those resources. Part of my call, then, is to speak for those who have little, who have no voice, who are shunned or looked down upon. In this way, I strive to steward my gifts and talents and position of power in order to help those who cannot get a seat at the table. Not only this, but I strive to encourage others to do the same.
I am far from perfect, but I strive to be a strong and humble leader for the Lord.
What is your role? Have you struggled with being more like David or like Solomon? What are you doing to steward what God has given to you?
P (Prayer): Lord, help me to use what you’ve given to me for the sake of others. Amen.