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David's Legacy of Preparation
In making preparations for the building of the Temple, David broadened his own legacy and established the foundation of Solomon's
We know that Solomon built the Temple, and we've heard all about his wealth and wisdom. He accomplished marvelous things indeed, but David's preparation before Solomon became king enabled the building of the Temple and established David's legacy as not only a shepherd, warrior, and king, but as a humble servant as well, and it established the foundation of Solomon's legacy.
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David was not demoralized by God's rejection of his plan
"Hear me, my brothers and my people! I had in in my heart to build a house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of HASHEM, as a footstool for our God, and I prepared to build. But God said to me, 'You shall not build a Temple for My Name, because you are a man of wars and have shed blood.” 1 Chronicles 28:2-31
People of high position have a way of getting their way and I am certain David was no exception. In this case, however, he exhibited humility and a measure of the wisdom for which Solomon would become so renowned. Most would have taken God's rejection as a slight and put their dreams for the project aside, possibly hoping for a different answer at a different time. Not David. He shifted from his kingly role of exercising power to the servant's role of enabling the work of the one who would follow him. Humility and wisdom set David on a course to establish not only his own legacy, but his son's as well.
David commissioned Solomon with sound advice
"And you, my son Solomon: Know the God of your father and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing soul, for HASHEM searches all hearts, and discerns every product of one's thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let Himself be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will abandon you forever. See now that HASHEM has chosen you to erect a building for the Holiness; be strong, and act." 1 Chronicles 28:9-10
David's life experiences taught him that it is what is in our hearts that God cares most about. From the heart's desires spring our thoughts, words, and actions. His admonition to Solomon is wisdom for us today, to order and live our lives such that HASHEM, God of all Creation, will make Himself available to us and bless our endeavors. Finally, he tells Solomon to be strong and to act, for David knows that the best plans are meaningless without determination and action.
In all of this, David speaks with the credibility of his life: the way he honored Saul when he could have killed him and claimed the throne, the power of his relationship with Jonathan, his valor and leadership in battle, his love for God and desire to build the Temple, the way he overcame tribulation through dependence upon and surrender to God. All of these and more define his character and are the foundation of his legacy. Though imperfect with human failings, there was good reason for God to say that he was a man after His own heart (1 Sam 13:14). When David spoke, the nation listened because of his legacy.
David the architect, planner, and organizer
David then gave to his son Solomon the plans for the Hall and it structures, storage rooms, upper chambers, and inner rooms, and for the Chamber of the Ark-Cover, and the plans for all that he had with him by Divine inspiration (1 Chronicles 28:11)
As we read on from the start of this passage, we learn that David not only developed the plans for what Solomon was to build, but also planned for and designated the division of labor for those who would serve God in the Temple. He provisioned building materials for the project, including the gold and silver needed to fulfill requirements for the structure and its many appurtenances. He knew the details of the details because he was intimately involved with them, including the Temple's design, provisioning, and administration. In doing this he was acting as a partner with Solomon in the realization of the desire in his own heart. He was a partner not only in the project, but in the building of Solomon's legacy.
David's prayer for Solomon
"HASHEM, God of our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, preserve this forever to be the product of the thoughts of the hearts of Your people, and set their hearts toward You! Also grant to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies, and Your statutes, to carry out everything and to build the palace for which I have prepared." 1 Chronicles 29:18-19
Legacies are built on many things. The quality of our lives depends largely upon our own choices and actions, but we are not alone. In Solomon's case, David's legacy was a steppingstone to his own. I can imagine that through the years and trials of all that Solomon experienced, his father's prayer for him offered wisdom and encouragement. He had the advantage of a dedicated and disciplined father, one who humbled himself to prepare and provide for the one who would follow after him. David understood the power of legacy and activated it for Solomon's life.
And our legacy?
Each one of us, for better or worse, carries within us the legacy of those who have gone before us. Some are fortunate in this, some are not. Regardless of the legacy that is passed down to us, however, it is our own choices and actions that determine the legacy we will pass on to those who come after us. We have the power to establish a new legacy.
David's example is a model we can follow. The world measures legacy by our accomplishments, the size of our bank account, the car we drive, the vacations we take, and a million other meaningless metrics. God measures our legacy by what is in our hearts and the courage we activate to walk out what He puts there. It is a humbling thought to think about what God thinks of one's legacy, especially if we have not followed His lead.
And then we remember David, the king who failed God so profoundly but who also loved Him, honored Him, served Him, and humbled himself to serve even his own son.
God called him a man after His own heart. There is hope in that for all of us.