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1 KINGS 2:1-4.10-12

1 CHRONICLES 29:10-12

MARK 6:7-13

Despite David being God's chosen one during his reign as a king, he also had his shortcomings. The most infamous of his shortcomings was having Uriah, his formidable military commander, being assigned to the frontline of the battlefield in order to have him killed so that he could have Bathsheba, Uriah's wife.

By the time of his death, David was a changed man. He changed after prophet Nathan through the parable of a rich man taking the only lamb of a poor man so as to cook for his visitor, brought to his attention the fact that he (David) was the rich man by taking Uriah's wife after having him killed in the battlefield.

May be the power, the authority and the influence that he had, blinded him from seeing his sin but the power of God's truth through prophet Nathan brought him back to his senses as it did to the prodigal son in Luke 15.

David showed that he had changed after his encounter with prophet Nathan by fasting and laying all night upon the ground - 2 Samuel 12:1-27. David's change was not only seen in his fasting and laying all night upon the ground but was also very well seen when he positively adviced his son Solomon to be strong and to walk in the ways of the Lord God. Here, let us not forget what David did to Uriah and imagine him advising Solomon his son. Did he have the moral authority to do so? Yes, he had due to the virtue of his repentance before God.

Did David sense some weakness in Solomon or did he notice that he would be tested in greater ways than him, or did David see some greatness in Solomon that he wanted him to maintain? Whatever the exact reason was, David knew that Solomon needed strength and courage.

The First Reading says that Solomon sat upon the throne of David his father and that was a great responsibility and great responsibilities require strength and courage. If Solomon was weak and fearful he could not have firmly reigned in the kingdom of Israel. When David told Solomon," Be strong and show yourself a man," he was not talking about physical strength but the strength of one's character and mind and that is why he added, " Keep the charge of the Lord your, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses."

If we are to take David's advice at face value then it means that Solomon had two things to keep in his mind, namely the statutes of God and his testimonies. In fact, keeping the statutes helps in giving testimony about God. Just like David, one day we will exit the world but before it happens, many other exits are always with us. Retirement, rules and regulations, transfers, change of environment or even a lifestyle change may make us exit from different aspects of life.

What important words of encouragement will you have for those who will take over from you? What are you telling the next generation through your everyday example? Are king David's words still good for us today? There is no greater and better gift to bequeath on those coming after you than the gift of the fear of God and a strong character.


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