As a boy, David had killed the fiercest of animals, a lion, and a bear. Those victories prepared him for the Philistine Giant, Goliath. He’d celebrated victory after victory as both the commander of Israel’s army and it’s king. Now it was time for something more civil, taking his legacy in a new direction. While he lived in a luxurious palace, the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant was confined to a tent. David desired to give the Ark a permanent home more fitting for the God of Heaven and Earth. He would build a temple to honor the name of the Lord. Thinking he would have the full support of his Lord he was excited about his new opportunity.
David receives the opposite response.
But Wait! The Lord likes the idea!
Yet, He will leave that responsibility to the next leader.
He has taken the Ark of the Covenant as far as he can.
He is a warrior. His hands are too dirty. He would not be the one.
David will not build the temple, nor even live to see the dream realized.
The task will be left to his successor, his son, Solomon.
David realizes Solomon is still too young and inexperienced. He knows that the Temple of the Lord is to be a magnificent structure, famous throughout the world.
Probably, as a leader, David’s heart sinks, his good intentions denied. What can he do? What should he do?
He has options.
- Ignore the warning. Build the Temple anyway. After all, he’s in charge.
- Abondon the dream altogether. If he can’t build it, no one can.
- Dump the dream on Solomon at the coronation. It’s no longer David’s problem.
What does he do? (You can read the actual account in 1 Chronicles 22:5-19)
He chooses option 4. Begin making preparations NOW.
David’s finish line would be Solomon’s starting line.
As parents, teachers, coaches, friends…anyone who leads at any level. There will come a day when we have gone as far as we can. We may not accomplish all we set out to accomplish. But thankfully we are not the last ones on earth. There is a generation of leaders that will come behind us. Our children will go on to realize dreams we only imagined. Our students and players will go on to be the citizens we had hoped they would be. When our time is done…we can take options 1,2, or 3 and coast into the sunset. Or we can make the preparations in our now for their then.
THESE ARE THE FOUR AREAS DAVID MADE PREPARATIONS FOR SOLOMON. WE CAN DO THE SAME FOR THOSE THAT COME AFTER US.
- VISION (v6-10)– David cast the vision of the temple’s purpose, “To honor the name of the Lord.” He confirmed Solomon’s identity, echoing the words of the Lord. He would be a man of peace and would lead Isreal into a time of peace. The Lord would be his father and Solomon His son.
We have to paint an inspiring picture of their future and their identity for when we are gone.
2. PRAYER (v11-13)- David prayed that the Lord would give him success resulting from obedience. Wisdom and knowledge also as a result of Solomon’s obedience. The greatest thing David desired was for Solomon to not follow his path, but the Lords. David also prayed that Solomon would remain courageous and not lose heart (passion.)
The greatest thing we can give is our prayers. Whispered in solitude and in their ear. Obedience. Wisdom. Knowledge. Courage. Passion. These are the things that sustain leaders for the long haul.
3. RESOURCES (v14-16) – Solomon might have to add some to the surplus, but David worked hard to provide the materials for the building of the Temple – 4,000 TONS of gold, 40,000 TONS of silver. Skilled stonemasons, carpenters, goldsmiths, and silversmiths were also provided.
Don’t give them everything, they need to learn to dig for themselves… but don’t make them start from scratch either. You have knowledge and wisdom that took you years to acquire, don’t selfishly hold onto them.
4. RELATIONSHIPS (v 17) – David knew that best leaders do not lead alone. There is wisdom in a multitude of counsel. (Solomon would one day pen Proverb 15:22) He ordered all the leaders of Israel to assist Solomon in this project.
The best leaders CANNOT lead alone. You didn’t get where you are by yourself. Introduce them to your mentors (whether real or virtual) and to those that have helped you succeed.
As a father and a leader, the greatest thing that I can do is prepare the next generation to lead once I am gone. We can’t expect it to happen by osmosis or even instantaneously. David started this work while Solomon was still too young. It took years and you may have already waisted many of those years.
But even so…there’s no better time to start making preparations than NOW.