What a responsibility! Young Solomon, standing in front of all the people, hears his father David tell him that God himself has chosen Solomon to be David's successor, to build the temple and to lead God's people. And what a person to have to follow ... David, the man after God's own heart, the man to whom God gave such success, the man to whom God's promised land was finally all given. How could he possibly carry such a burden and responsibility?
Actually, the key is embedded in the charge given by David. How does it start? - "Acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind ... If you seek Him, He will be found by you ...". This is the key! God with us. Understanding that our God wishes to have a close, personal, and working relationship with us, providing all the power, all the strength, all the protection, and all the resources needed - this is what allows us to tackle the daunting tasks He has for us!
And what an object-lesson Solomon had in David. Yes, David had been very foolish many times. But yet, David had kept a 'short account' with God - he had turned back to his heavenly father quickly and with a repentant heart after turning from Him each time. He had acknowledged his sin, confessed that his sin had been against God, and sought His forgiveness. He had laid himself on the mercies of God, even in God's punishment, each time. And through all of David's life walking with the Lord he had seen all God's provision, protection and power.
And yet, there is a warning too: "... the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts ... if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever". Solomon knew this, and yet did not walk with God as he should have done. He saw all God had done, knew God's continued blessing because of God's mercy because of His promises to David, and yet his heart was not fully committed to God. Psalm 115 pleads with us to trust the Lord, even though the nations around might say 'Where is their God?'. Our response must alway be 'Our God is in heaven, He does whatever pleases Him'. And, in remembering and worshiping Him only, there are blessings stored up for us. How many blessings were stored up for Solomon and his descendants, promised in v8, that were never seen.
We see this same story time and again in the Bible. We fail, and as a result we also fail to know all the riches He has for us in Him. Oh to learn to walk closely with our God who indwells us, to daily dedicate our lives to Him, to be His and His only, to find all our joy in Him alone. What an inheritance Solomon had, and what a great inheritance is ours. And so, we too must "Be strong and do His work" only in His power, presence and provision.