When I die, notice that I didn’t say if I die, when I die, if I could, I would love to leave behind words of wisdom for my children. You know in years to come they could tell people about the wisdom that I imparted on them with my dying words. Which even if they were no wiser then all my other words there is a certain gravity to someone’s dying words. But even with that in mind I think I would also try to keep it light.
Conrad Hilton was born in 1887 and over the next 92 years he built a dynasty of hotels around the world, on his deathbed just before he died, Hilton was asked if he had any last words of wisdom for the world. And these were the words that Hilton went out with, "Leave the shower curtain on the inside of the tub."
Do you remember the story of Samuel Upham on his deathbed? Samuel Upham had been a professor at Drew Theological Seminary for years and as he lay dying, friends gathered about. The question arose as to whether he was still living or not. Someone
advised, "Feel his feet. No one ever died with warm feet." Dr. Upham opened an eye and said, "Joan of Arc did."
Now I probably won’t be able to do something like that because I think of those great remarks later, and so I’ll say darn I should have said, and Peter will look at me and say it’s too late Denn.
Oh well. This morning we are going to look at words though not dying words certainly came at the end of a full and productive life. King David has come to the end of his rule and his life and as he prepares to finally meet his God he begins to put his earthly house in order. And so he assembles the leaders of Israel together so they can witness the transfer of leadership to his son, Solomon. Now not only is David giving his son the responsibility to rule Israel, but more importantly David holds out his dreams for his son to embrace.
Isn’t that the way of Fathers? Don’t each one of us hope that sons will do what we couldn’t do, achieve what we couldn’t achieve and be what we couldn’t be? And so on this the first fathers day of the New Millenniums we may not be able to transfer our kingdoms, thrones and riches, we can give our children a taste of our dreams.
David had dreamed of building a temple for God and for various reasons that wasn’t going to happen, and so more important then the Kingdom he gave to his son was the vision for the kingdom that he gave to his son, and the challenge that he presented. So who was Solomon and why for did he get the Kingdom and the dream. The who is easy, perhaps you remember the story of David and Bathsheba, not the high point in King David’s life, he had lusted after another mans wife, committed adultery with her, she became pregnant and he had her husband murdered and he married her. Some days you just can’t get it right. When confronted with his sin, David confessed and repented but the child of that union died. Now listen to what happened after wards, it’s recorded in
2 Samuel 12:24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child. Why was it specified that God loved Solomon, I don’t know but it kind of explains why Solomon was the heir to the Kingdom instead of one of David’s older sons. The actual point that David was informed about who would follow him came in 1 Chronicles 22:9-10 But you will have a son who will experience peace and rest. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. He is the one who will build a Temple to honour my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
And we are told in 1 Kings 3:3 Solomon loved the Lord. So the Lord loved Solomon and Solomon loved the Lord, sounds like a good combination to me. Just to kind of finish off who Solomon was, in 1 Kings chapter 3 verses 4-6 we are told that the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
What a great offer, I heard a story that a Pastor and his staff were out one day and an Angel appeared to them and made the same offer, well what he actually said was you can have anything you want, you could be the most famous pastor in the world, your church could have incredible wealth or you could have immense wisdom and be the smartest man in the world. Well the pastor thought back to what happened with Solomon and said “I’ll take the wisdom” The angel replied ok it’s as you asked”, and he disappeared, the associate Pastors gathered around to hear this new found wisdom of their leader and one of them said “well, what are you thinking” and the pastor looked up and said “I should have taken the money”