You've chosen a milestone day to be with us. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll presents his final message in a comprehensive 24-part series on David. He's titled this hallmark study and the book that coincides with it, David, a Man of Passion and Destiny. Our study today begins in 1 Chronicles 28. In this passage, we read about the dramatic transfer of power from one generation to the next as David's family and the nation of Israel says farewell.
Chuck titled this final message in the series, The End of an Era. David, old and perhaps stooped by now in years after four decades of service, says to his son, Solomon, Solomon, know the Lord. He speaks first of godliness.
Know the God of your father. I mentioned in one of my Think It Over columns some time ago the true story of George Jagger and I repeat it this evening. When George Jagger took his three sons and an elderly grandfather out on the Atlantic Ocean for a fishing trip, he had no premonition of the horror that he would face in a matter of hours. Before he would step on shore again, Jagger would watch each son and then his father die, victims of exhaustion and lungs filled with water.
The boat's engine had stalled in the late afternoon while increasing winds whipped the sea into great waves. The boat rolled and pitched helplessly in the water and then began to list dangerously. When it became apparent they were sinking, the five Jagger men put on the life vests, tied themselves together with a rope, and slipped into the water. It was six-thirty in the evening when the sinking craft disappeared and the swimmers set out to work their way towards shore.
Six-foot waves and a strong current made the swimming almost impossible. First one boy and then another and another swallowed too much salt water. Helpless George Jagger watched his sons and then his father die. Eight hours later he staggered onto the shore, still pulling the rope that bound the bodies of the other four to him. I realized they were all dead, my three boys and my father, but I guess I didn't want to accept it.
So I kept swimming all night long, he said to the reporters. My youngest boy, Clifford, was the first to go. I had always taught our children not to fear death because it was being with Jesus Christ.
Before he died, I heard Cliff say, I'd rather be with Jesus than go on fighting. Performance under stress is one test of effective leadership. It may also be the proof of accomplishment when it comes to evaluating the quality of a father. In that awful Atlantic night, George Jagger had a chance to see his three sons summon every ounce of energy and courage and self-control he had tried to build into them. The beautiful way they died said something about the kind of father Jagger had been for fifteen years. Few fathers will have their leadership effectiveness tested so severely, dramatically, or suddenly. For most men, the test will come in small doses over a long period of living, but the test comes to all, and sooner or later, the judgment is rendered. Dads and moms, one life will soon be passed, one investment, and they'll no longer be called your little ones.
They'll then begin to emulate the lifestyle and the character you have invested, and your chance will be over. David looked deeply into the eyes of his beloved Son of Grace, Solomon, who came from the loins of Bathsheba. What grace! And he saw in Solomon the markings of waywardness and loose living. He saw those bents, and so he said to Solomon, knowing his son, no God. Boy, no God! The second thing he said was to serve the Lord.
See it in verse 9? Serve him. How? With a whole heart, with a willing mind. Solomon, don't make God force you to worship him. Do it wholeheartedly.
Do it willingly. You know how David could say those kind of things? That's the kind of heart David had. His songs were on the hit parade all over Israel. Here was a singer, here was the sweet singer of Israel who had set out those songs of praise, and Solomon knew them as well. What is your investment, dads?
Once for all, and it's over. Man, that makes me search my life. My kids are going to be growing up thinking my dad served with a whole heart and willingly the Lord God.
Are they? Or will they realize their home was ruled by sort of a petticoat government where mom was the one that continually had to push and pull and jab and encourage and set things right spiritually? Why are there not fathers more fathers at the head of their home spiritually setting out that whole hearted, willing feeling concerning the worship of the Lord God? David could say it because he did it.
Not perfect, but some kind of model. In fact, he adds, the Lord searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts. What do you think David had in mind?
That dark day back years before when kings went forth and David didn't and made a tragic mistake, fell into sin. He says, Solomon, if there's any possible way, don't fall into my shoes there. The third thing he says to Solomon in verse 9 is seek him. If you seek him, he will let you find him. If you forsake him he will reject you. Now consider now for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary.
Be courageous and act. I love that. And verses 11 through 19, he talks about construction. I just love the way it unfolds. You can just see David pull Solomon aside and say, now look, Solomon, I got all these plans laid out. And so he unrolled these construction plans and I see him get down on their hands and knees, you know, and here's Solomon on one side and David on the other. Verse 11, he gave Solomon the plan of the porch, the temple, its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms, the room for the mercy seat, the plan of all that he had in mind. You see, that was his dream and he couldn't build it. So he said, Solomon, if you're going to build it, build it right. Now look, it has to be built. And he lays it out room for room, room for room.
Doesn't that sound like a dead? Just like we would have done it. Do it right, Solomon.
Get with it, act. What a model of diligence, alertness, keen perception. David, what a man. Beginning at verse 20, he addresses the subject of ruling because that was to be his primary calling in career. David said to his son, Solomon, be strong and courageous and act. David knew some of the problems of the political ruler. He said, don't be afraid, don't be dismayed.
You're going to have people on one side and you're going to have people on another. You're going to live in a pressure cooker. David says to Solomon, walk with God. The Lord, our God is with you.
He will not fail you. He will not forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished. He describes the assignment and then he turns to the people. Verse 1 of chapter 29, King David said to the entire assembly, my son Solomon, I get the feeling of this verse, whom alone God has chosen is still young and inexperienced and the work is great for the temple is not for man but for the Lord God.
You see Solomon as he stands there, inexperienced, untried, battle scarred father who had been through 40 years of ruling and he hands over the plans for the temple and the scepter of Israel. What a moment. There are moments that a father goes through that cannot be described by any man.
There are feelings. We have a man in our congregation who recently, along with his wife, watched his son go through medical school and he and his wife, the boy's parents, went up to that area where the boy finished schooling and they sat in the audience as the son received his degree, his M.D. You ask that father what it was like, he can't put it in words. There are not words to describe it. Suddenly he realizes that here is the master's plan in his boy's life and he will cut out a new course, new direction, and the great concern on the part of that godly father is that that boy walk with Christ regardless of how fine a physician he may become. Walk with God.
He's inexperienced, educated but young, untried. That's the way it was with David. Let me give you a list of the things Solomon enjoyed as a result of his father's hand. The nation was now unified under one flag. A royal capital had been established in Jerusalem. A military force was now respected by all the enemies around Israel. Every enemy had been subdued, the Philistines included. Righteousness and a hunger for God was obvious.
The boundaries had been extended from six thousand to sixty thousand square miles. Prosperity had been brought in by extensive trade routes that David had set up. The sounds of his father's song could be heard in all the land.
What a legacy. Sons, daughters, your lives are marked by your parents. Sit down with them and say to them, I want to tell you thank you for some specific things you have done in my life. And just go over them one by one, thanking them for the investment.
Make a list of them. You might also have a little box of glycerin tablets handy so that, you know, they get a little heart seizure. You can help them out over there. One of the marks of a new generation is in gratitude. How seldom we specify in verbal fashion our gratitude to our parents for that which they have invested in our lives.
And yet we soak up the benefits just like the waves of the sea crashing on the shore, just constantly soaking up the benefits of a godly home, constantly. Every once in a while, parents ache to hear the truth from their children that needs to be said. Even though young and inexperienced, you can express your gratitude. And I challenge you to do that. And then naturally David falls on his knees and then he utters this prayer, beautiful prayer. Prayers are not made to be exposited. They're expressed to be guides in worship. So I don't want to analyze the prayer.
I just want to read it to you and feel it with you. Look at the praise of verses 10, 11, and 12. Praise means that man is out of the picture and God is exalted. The magnifying glass looks up. Nothing is mentioned of man, all of God.
And look at what he says. Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and in the earth. Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and thou dost exalt thyself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from thee, and thou dost rule over all, and in thy hand is power and might. And it lies in thy hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now, therefore, our God, we thank thee and praise thy glorious name. Dads, when's the last time your children heard you pray outside time around the table? Here's David in a scene that didn't require prayer, but spontaneously responding to God in gratitude for all that God had done over those years in that life. He fell before the Lord and finally prayed. Tough question, dads.
We need to answer it. What are we teaching by our model about prayer? Isn't it embarrassing to realize how seldom our children interrupt us while we're praying? Just stumble in on us and there we are before the Lord.
What a perfect time when that happens to put your arm around your child and say, come on and join me. I mean, that kind of memory is never forgotten, ever. We thank thee and praise thy glorious name. Now, thanksgiving changes it. From praise to thanksgiving, who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? And he thinks of the lavish grace of God that has given them, oh, one good thing after another. For all things come from thee and from thy hand we have given thee. We are sojourners before the antennas as all our fathers were.
Our days on the earth are like a shadow and there is no hope. Oh Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build thee a house for thy holy name, it is from thy hand and all is thine. Talk about a proper scale of values. David was surrounded by limitless riches and it never captured his heart.
David was never grabbed by materialism. He says, Lord, everything we have is yours, all these beautiful places where we gather for worship, the place where I live, the throne room, all of it is yours, everything. Passing on to our children a proper scale of values, what an important investment.
Knowing how to handle the good things of life and knowing that those good things are just a wisp, here today and gone, and how to handle them when things aren't easy. And now he intercedes, since I know, oh my God, that thou triest the heart and delightest in uprightness, I in the integrity of my heart have willingly offered all these things. So now with joy I have seen thy people who are present here make their offerings willingly to thee. Oh Lord the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of thy people and direct their heart to thee. It's an intercessory prayer. Turn the heart of these people to thee. Give to my son Solomon a mature heart to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, thy statutes, and to do them, and to build the temple for which I have made provision. Then David said to the assembly, you, bless the Lord your God.
And that's precisely what they do. Spontaneously in response to the prayer, it says, all the assembly, bless the Lord, the God of their fathers, bowed low and did homage to the Lord and to the King. Verse 22 says they ate and they drank that day before the Lord with great gladness. There was sort of a family reunion. What a great experience. Family reunions have sort of ended, haven't they? Some of my most treasured memories go back to a little bay cottage years ago in my life when the family on my mother's side gathered down at that little spot below Palacios in South Texas, right along the Gulf, a little bay inlet from the Gulf of Mexico, and we would spend a week there with family.
Isn't that funny as I say that? I remember being in a little tiny bed and they stretched this mosquito net over me at night and they would tuck in the mattress underneath me and it gave me terrible trouble and I had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I remember I couldn't get out of this thing and the thing was in there. And I remember as a little boy being underneath this little mosquito net and hearing out back my dad playing a harmonica and the family singing out there, I didn't realize what roots that would give me in my life. But I belonged to a body that had roots that had tentacles that went way back. Granddad was there and those family members, uncles and aunts, a whole bunch. What memories.
You're investing just in the immediate family? For all you know, you're ending an era. You'll never pass this way again. God gives us holidays and times of refreshment just to do that kind of thing. Not to be alone, just selfishly satisfying what we want, but somehow to build roots and go down deep. And it's great when you can eat and drink with great gladness before the Lord.
Have a terrific time. They made Solomon the son of David a king and Solomon sat on the throne, verse 23. And all the officials, the mighty men, the sons of King David, pledged alliance to King Solomon. What a moment that was. And the Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal majesty.
I don't know what that means. But somehow Solomon possessed this incredible wisdom from God which had not been on any king before him in Israel. And guess who that thrilled? David the father.
Who knows the feelings of a dad when he looks and sees a son stepping in and moving on, right in his shoes. And it says in 28 that he died in a ripe old age, full of days, full of riches, full of honor. And Solomon reigned in his place. When a man of God dies, nothing of God dies. And when a man of God dies, none of his principles die.
Oh, there may be those try to silence them. They did that with Wycliffe. They branded him an instrument of the devil, the author of schism. They banished him as Oxford's distinguished professor of divinity. They drove him into exile. And after his death, 29 years later, the church council declared him a heretic, excommunicated him from the church, exhumed the body from the grave, burnt the bones to ashes, and gathered these ashes up. And in absolute hatred of his life, they spread those ashes out into the River Swift. One historian said that was perfect.
That river moved right out into the ocean, as if to say, this life will touch the world. You may live and carry out the best years of your life misunderstood, like Wycliffe or Lincoln or David. But as the end of your day comes, God puts the record together right. Let's face it, many a martyr died a hated man, and it was not until years, years later, that he was seen to be great, far greater than those his contemporaries ever dreamed him to be. And so David dies at a ripe old age, full of days, full of riches, full of honor.
That's the way to die, isn't it? Every day brings you closer to it. You don't live months at a time, you live them a day at a time. I have told you earlier about that old family reunion and the fellow that served my granddad all through his life, his name was Coates. A lot of the wisdom he passed on to this little cotton-headed kid when I was standing out there by the barbecue pit, which he maintained, he put his leather hand on my head and shook it. I remember that like it was yesterday, and he said, Little Charles, brother, the trouble with life is that it's so daily. You know, if life came in years, it would be a snap or months, but it's every day. What are you doing with your life? What's the purpose of God in your life for your generation?
Don't miss it. And if it includes some unrealized dreams, try not to become bitter. Let's bow together, shall we?
Wycliffe never realized that his words would fall from the lips of a president 500 years later and challenge a nation in decades to come. You don't realize the sweeping impact of your life, my friend. Little eyes watching you, day and night. People where you work, fellow members of the body, those who are so low, so blue.
You're their hope, though you may not want the job, you're the model. It's a perfect evening to just say, Lord, I give you my allegiance, give you a life that's so daily, afresh and in you, I give you my career, my marriage, my parents, my children, my life. Heavenly Father, thank you for the lessons learned vicariously through the life of a man named David. Small wonder he was a man after your heart. We have found hope even in spite of his humanity.
We have found challenge even though at times he ran, was afraid. We've been given encouragement even though the man, perhaps more than any other writer of Psalms, was a melancholic. Thank you for the lessons learned through time spent in this life. Give us a touch of the dynamic of eternity, Lord, as a result of this exposure we've had, this study, this very day. Forgive us for our focus, which is all too horizontal, all too temporal, limited. Lift the hearts of fathers and mothers especially tonight as they look into the faces of their Solomons who someday will carry on in their place. Show us the value of a proper scale of values with regard to materialism, a spiritual walk, and a wholesome family life. Your Lord, and we bow before you.
Amen. As we look back on this colorful study of David's life, we're reminded that the wisdom of God's word is timeless. We know that's true because of the stories that you tell us about personal life change. For instance, one of your fellow listeners wrote, this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Your study on David is so fitting for my life right now. And another said, I've read Chuck's book on David twice.
It's one of my favorite books and now I'm listening to the series. The biography this listener is referring to is called David, A Man of Passion and Destiny. To purchase a copy of Chuck's biography on David, give us a call.
If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or visit us online at insight.org. And then let me give you a glimpse of our next topic. On the next Insight for Living, Chuck will launch a study on developing a renewed passion for the Holy Spirit.
It's called Flying Closer to the Flame. If your soul is longing for a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with God, then it's likely time for you to fully embrace the Spirit of God. We're excited about this new study because we believe it will inspire the spontaneous and intimate connection with God that you've been searching for. Well, this daily program is made possible through the voluntary contributions from grateful listeners like you.
So please, as God prompts you to give, will you follow His lead? You can get in touch today by calling us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or give online at insight.org. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll launches his next study, Flying Closer to the Flame. Listen Thursday to Insight for Living. We'll be right back.
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