When you face life’s Goliaths

Of all the things, the most important one that David asks of his son Solomon is to acknowledge ‘the God of your father’

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work”
(1 Cornicles 28:9–10).

It was indeed an emotional moment. David, the warrior, songwriter, king, and father, was on his death bed. It’s never easy for anyone to face the last days of their lives on the earth with death waiting at the door. Often in those moments, many give up hope or just become silent, isolated, or numb. But not for David. He knew his days among the land of living were numbered and would soon be gathered to his fathers.

So, David does one last remarkable thing, he reflects on the past years that had shaped him, but then he looks ahead to the years that he could shape for the next generation.

So, David does one last remarkable thing, he reflects on the past years that had shaped him, but then he looks ahead to the years that he could shape for the next generation. Then he draws out the essence of what truly matters in life that gives meaning and purpose to be a successful leader. This was indeed a critical moment for Solomon and even for David to share the profound truth from his own life. As we read the opening text, the foremost thing David wants his son, the future king, the leader to possess is to acknowledge, serve, seek the Lord and be strong to do the work the Lord has chosen for him.

What does he mean when David asks his son to acknowledge the “God of your father?” David’s emphasis on the “God of your father” highlights the deep-rooted relationship he had with his God and how everything about his life was the result of that steady connection. I want to mention three things that I feel explain David’s “God of your father”.

David’s emphasis on the “God of your father” highlights the deep-rooted relationship he had with his God and how everything about his life was the result of that steady connection

1. God of your father is the One who remembers you when the world forsakes you or forgets you: David very well recalled that some years ago how his family had forgotten about him when the prophet Samuel came to his home, but God remembered him and anointed him.

2. God of your father is the One who will stand with you when you face the giants (Goliaths) of your life: David remembers the day when he ran towards the giant and gained the victory for Israel because “God of his father” fought for him.

3. God of your father is the One whose faithfulness and promise extend to multiple generations: David also knows that the “God of your father” is the One who has promised to bless his future generation.

Questions to Ponder:

1. What does it mean to acknowledge God? How do I truly acknowledge him? How do I miss to acknowledge God?

2. How does serving God with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind look like?

Prayer:

  • Lord help me to acknowledge you in my life.
  • Lord teach me to serve you with wholehearted devotion.
  • Lord help me to have a willing mind to serve.
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Father of Our Lord

When Jesus considered how people regarded the commandments of God, He said, “You have heard it said…but I say to you…” Did what He had to say about God have that distinctive mark of being a departure from previously held ideas?

Holy God

Predominantly Jews thought of God as holy—totally different and separated from humans. His purity is so intense and severe that it will not tolerate any contamination. Approaching the holy Presence was punishable by death (Ex. 19:11-13). Though Moses is described as the man who conferred with God face to face (33:11), when Moses asked to see God’s glory he was told that he would not be able to survive seeing God in all His glory, and so God would show him only His retreating glory (vv.18-23). From generation to generation Jews thought of God as the Most High God who was so fearfully unapproachable that they dared not even take His Name even though God had given it to Moses and was written in their Scripture. Into this Jewish world, Jesus entered. His life spoke for God. “Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father… No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known” (John 1:14, 18, NET). In Moses’ day anyone straying onto the mount of God’s presence was punished with death, but in Christ ordinary folks got to gaze on His holiness and jostle God and they lived to tell of it, and His enemies even got to “manhandle” Him without being struck dead immediately (1 John 1: 1-4).
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Spirit

One definitive statement about God that Jesus made is that “God is spirit” (John 4:24). In line with this, Jesus taught that what God was interested in is the state of the heart-life of people. He emphasised that scrupulously keeping the letter of the law was not the kind of morality that God wanted. People shouldn’t break the laws of God in their hearts. Not enough that a person desists from murder, but he mustn’t even harbour hatred in his heart. It wasn’t enough that a person didn’t commit adultery, he shouldn’t even have lust in his heart (Matt. 5: 21-32). Jesus also ridiculed the Jews for their practice of showing off how religious they were by conducting their devotional life in public view. He said that whenever anyone did that, the only thing the person really wanted was human approval and he would surely get it. But if a man wanted God’s approval then he had to do all his praying, fasting and charity only for God’s exclusive viewing pleasure (6: 1-18).
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