David's Charge to Solomon

Bill Moseley
Tucson, Arizona

"Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die: and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 'I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest and whithersoever thou turnest thyself'" (1 Kgs. 2:1-3).

King David had reigned for 40 years, and now he is about "to go the way of all the earth." Knowing of David's impending death, Adonijah at first tried to assume the throne. This is reported to David by Nathan and Bathsheba, whereupon David then appointed his son Solomon to succeed him. While doing this, he gave Solomon the charge which we have quoted. Basically, the charge and the obligations within it are the same ones imposed upon us today.

"be thou strong"

First of all, David says, ". . . be thou strong, and show thyself a man . . ." The same command was given by Paul to the Corinthians (I Cor. 16:13). One mark of a mature Christian is strength-moral, and spiritual. If we remain children, we are weak and easily "carried about with every wind of doctrine." (Eph. 4:14) Christians are to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord." (2 Pet. 3:18) Some of the Hebrews were still weak; unable to bear meat. (Heb. 5:14) This was also true of the Corinthians. (I Cor. 3: 1) But the Hebrews and the Corinthians did not compose an exclusive group, for many members of the Lord's body today are just as immature and weak. They are lax in the duty to God, and as such cannot be classified as strong or men.

"keep the charge"

Next, David tells Solomon to "keep the charge of the Lord . . ." We are not exempt from this charge today. We also have a charge to keep---several in fact. God has charged his people to be as shining lights in the world. (Phil. 2:15) They are to be the "salt of the earth." (Matt. 5:13) We have the charge to preach the word. (2 Tim. 4:2; 2:2) These are but a few "charges" that we have to keep today. Are we fulfilling them? Some are, but most are not.

"'walk in his ways"

David also tells Solomon to "walk in his ways . . ." How often man needs to be reminded to walk in the ways of God! Years later, Jeremiah made this same plea to the people of God, only to be rejected. (Jer. 6: 16) And just as Israel rejected the plea of the prophet, so many reject it now. Men are determined to walk in their own ways, even though they lead to death (Prov. 14:12). Paul exhorted the Ephesians to "walk worthy" of their vocation (Eph. 4: 1). He further says to "walk in the spirit . . ." (Gal. 5:16). The ways of God seem difficult at times, but ultimately they are the safe ways.

"keep his statutes ..."

Next, David says to "keep his statutes, commandments, judgments and testimonies." To "fear God and keep his commandments" has always been the "whole of man." (Eccl. 12:13) For Solomon, these commands were found in "the law of Moses." For you and me they are found in the law of Christ. The testimonies which the apostles wrote at the direction of the Holy Spirit are just as binding on you and me as the writings of Moses were on Solomon. We have the responsibility of searching, reading and studying these things to determine what oar duty is. Once we have found it, we are to "keep them."

"that thou mayest prosper"

Finally, the result is "that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest" God has promised that our obedience to his law will cause us to prosper. Lest some misunderstand, God has not promised us material prosperity, but spiritual. If you are serving God for material pin, you will be disappointed, for the prosperity of God's people is spiritual and eternal in nature. All else will succumb to time, rust, moths and thieves (Matt. 6:19-20). We see that David's promise to Solomon was kept. "Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father: and his kingdom was established greatly" (I Kgs. 3:12). We are recipients of this promise just as surely as was Solomon. Paul said a "crown of righteousness awaited trim." (2 Tim. 4:8) It is "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." (1 Pet. 1: 4) John records for us the promise of a crown of life based upon our faithfulness. (Rev. 2: 10) Peter also speaks of receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." (I Pet. 1: 9) These are the promises held out to those who would keep the charge of God.

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 4, pp. 12-13
November 25, 1971