1 Kings 2:2,3—“As for me, I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong and be courageous like a man, and keep your obligation to the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statues, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn, and so that the LORD will carry out His promise that He made to me: ‘If your sons are careful to walk faithfully before Me with their whole mind and heart, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’”
As the time approached for him to die what thoughts crossed his mind? “I am going the way of all the earth.” Death was knocking. Was he afraid? Probably not—his words before expiring give no hint of terror. I suspect his strong walk with God more than equipped him for his final steps.
“Be strong and be courageous like a man. . .” David wrote the book on strength and courage. A lion, a bear, a giant, vast armies, he vanquished them all with fierce audacity. He watched his predecessor Saul, decay and fail. David’s son must follow the father’s lead.
“Keep your obligation to the LORD your Godto walk in His ways. . .” Powerful words from a veteran leader. Surely a country of vacillators vexed his soul! How many of them despite his edicts were still closet idol worshipers? How many failed to listen to God’s commands because it was far more pleasurable to do whatever they wanted? He himself knew the price of sin. If Solomon would only be faithful to God he would succeed.
But he didn’t. Solomon, the world’s wisest man chose the path of fools. He started out great. He prayed great prayers, built a colossal temple and had the Lord’s blessing. But he got too smart for his own good. He decided to play and find the wisdom in foolishness. Obligation became a word tied to his foreign wives and to stem their incessant whining he built them temples to their gods. He compromised his convictions to fulfill his sex drive. He became the world’s most famous playboy and a first-hand expert on the word meaningless.
Keep your obligation. God gave you more than Solomon ever had. The former was compelled to walk in His ways—ways defined by laws. You are required to walk in His Son’s ways, ways modeled on earth that fulfilled the law. It is hard to be enamored with rules. It is an honor to be in love with a Messiah. Do you care about your future? Then let nothing come between you and your responsibility to love the Lord and to keep His ways.
Obligation is a noble word. It is the stuff of duty. It is the essence of binding and covenants. When we lose sight of this we compromise, we settle for pleasing our whims and find ourselves wimps. Love is not enhanced by fickle behavior. We don’t make champions out of two-faced people. Power and dignity, holiness and worship grow strong because you keep your obligation. When those around you see that you are faithful is it any wonder that they want what you have! Keep your obligation. “This is written . . . so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn . . .”
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)