We get to see the great King David’s departing words to his son, Solomon, in today’s Jumpstart. Recently I’ve thought a lot about what I would want to leave my kids with when I pass. Hopefully it would be the same message I’ve preached and lived out every day of my life when discipling them but there’s just something different with that last emphasis on these items before you pass. It’s why we make a big deal of other’s famous last words before they depart whether it’s Humphrey Bogart’s reference to martinis or Charlie Chaplin’s more serious reminder of God keeping our soul.
In essence, King David says two things to his son, Solomon, that I believe every Dad should say to their sons every day and in their final words:
- Be a Man.
- Follow God.
Be a Man
People may say that it’s sexist for a father to tell his son to “be strong and show yourself a man” (v. 2) as King David does in this gender neutral culture, but that culture goes against the one God created from the beginning and what dads should be instilling in there boys. Like the apostle Paul says later, and what God created and Jesus affirmed in the creation account and first marriage, God created men and women differently to complement each other. One difference that men have from women is their strength. This is not saying that many women can’t and won’t be stronger then men but it is saying that for the majority of men, we were created physically and sometimes emotionally stronger to protect and provide for women. If you don’t believe this, please read this article by Gregg Johnson on the biological differences in gender-specific behavior.
Seeing how God created men to be strong, we need to rear them in that strength and disciple them in their biblical manhood. It’s a high calling to do this, yet we must be careful to not fall into unbiblical cultural gender stereotypes when doing this as well. But I wouldn’t mind my sons knowing that I left a legacy behind encouraging them to be the Biblical men God called them to be for their future marriages, families and churches.
Follow God is the other thing King David charges before Solomon. Follow His Word, obey it and be faithful to Him.
3 and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4 that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
He tells us to follow God and be faithful to God with all of our heart and soul. Similar to what Jesus said about the first part of the great commandment. We really shouldn’t be surprised that these two things are the departing words of David to his sons. After all he had to learn the importance of this the hard way after marrying multiple wives and allowing idolatry to creep back in at certain times. But when it was time for God to take Him he shared with Solomon what matters most. I pray and hope that all men can say the same thing to our sons and live it out for them to follow as well.
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor