In just seven years, King Solomon constructed an impressive dwelling place for the Lord in Jerusalem. History credits the king for this great accomplishment; it was the crowning achievement of his reign. But what many people do not realize is that Solomon could not have built the temple without the help of a supportive father.
David had not always been there for Solomon, but before his death he helped prepare his son for the construction of the temple in six ways:
- He had a vision. Although he would never see it with his eyes, David envisioned a house for the Lord that was “exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands” (1 Chron. 22:5).
- He shared his vision with his son, saying to him, “the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as he has spoken concerning you” (1 Chron. 22:11).
- He left Solomon the tools necessary to complete the task, gathering iron, bronze, cedar, gold, silver, and craftsmen of every kind (1 Chron. 22:3-5, 14-16).
- He left Solomon with a good reputation. When it came time to build the temple, Hiram king of Tyre sent servants and supplies to Solomon because “Hiram always loved David” (1 Kgs. 5:1). It was Solomon himself who said, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold” (Prov. 22:1). The legacy David left behind was worth more to Solomon’s construction project than all the gold and silver he may have collected.
- He warned his son, saying, “Only, may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statues and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel” (1 Chron. 22:12-13). Solomon could expect success only if he put the Lord first and followed his commandments. We need more homes where this kind of warning is sounded. Without the word of God, our children may accomplish a few things, but in the end their lives will amount to a spiritual disaster.
- He encouraged him, saying, “Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed” (1 Chron. 22:13).
Parents, pay attention to the kind of lives you are modeling before your children. Listen to what you say to them. Are you preparing them for success?
Solomon may get credit for building the temple, but he could not have done it without his father. The same is true for most of our accomplishments. Behind our successes, however great or small they may be, usually stands a loving mother or father who cared enough to teach us to put God first and follow his ways.