By Lewis Willis
The great desire of David, King of Israel, was “to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord” (1 Chron. 28:2). However, because David had been a man of war, God would not permit him to build the temple. In this chapter, David gathered all the leadership of Israel together, announcing to them that God had chosen his son, Solomon, to rule over Israel and to build the temple. Then, still before the leadership of the nation, David issued this charge to Solomon: “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever” (1 Chron. 28:9). Though this was a statement made to an ancient king, it surely contains some good instruction and exhortation for us today. Herein, we give brief attention to teach of the things which David said.
1. David told Solomon to know God. Too many people are like the Gentiles who, Paul said, refused to know God (Rom. 1:21). He charged that “they did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Rom. 1:28). How can we today know God? Let us allow the Scriptures to answer that question: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:3-4).
2. The next thing David said was, serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind. Service to God has always been required of men. The “perfect heart” follows directions from God. Note 1 Chronicles 29:19, “And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes.” When Paul discussed the planned contribution of the Corinthians to assist needy brethren, he said they needed a willing mind. “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (1 Cor. 8:12). Ours is to be a wholehearted service to God. Jesus said, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mk. 12:3).
3. Next David said the Lord searches all hearts and understands all imaginations of the thoughts. One is re-minded of the statement the Lord made to Samuel when David was being selected as King. “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). In Psalms 139
David talked about how God searched and knew him. He said God knew him when he sat down and when he got up; that he was acquainted with all his ways and words. There was no place David could go out of the presence of the Lord (Psa. 139:13). He later welcomed the search of God: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139: 23-24). We should remember that God knew the evil imaginations of the hearts of men in the days of Noah (Gen. 6:5). Man is defiled before God because of evil thoughts. Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things while defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man” (Matt. 15:19-20). Also, we must remember that we shall give account unto God for our thoughts and actions. Many pas-sages speak of this impending day of reckoning (Rom. 14:12; Heb. 9:27; 2 Cor. 5:10). To the church at Thyatira, Jesus said, “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works” (Rev. 2:23).
4. David told Solomon that if he would seek the Lord, he could find him. Jeremiah wrote, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). David said a blessing is in store for those that “seek him with the whole heart” (Psa. 119:2). Jesus rebuked some people who sought him for the wrong reason an. 6:26). Paul told the people in Athens, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27). Jesus said that those who seek, will find the Lord (Matt. 7:7). Eternal life is promised to those who seek glory, honor and immortality (Rom. 2:7). Who are you seeking? What are you seeking?
5. Finally, David told Solomon, “but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.” Joshua had made a similar statement to the nation of Israel: “If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good” (Josh. 24:20). If we do the will of God, he has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). We must understand that man is the one who does the “forsaking,” when he turns aside to do evil. The Lord will not tolerate this, so he turns away. But, it is man who “moves,” not God. He is constant and willing for us to be near him. We simply must not forsake him.
As you can see, this is a rich text, containing many valuable lessons for men throughout all ages. Let us make certain that we learn these valuable lessons.
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 10, p. 9
May 19, 1994