Solomon could sense the importance of this day as he looked around and saw the many princes and captains that his father had invited to this great event. As the event began, Solomon found his normal spot during big gatherings like this one—a seat close to the front of the amphitheater. He listened as his dad told the assembled crowd of the dream he had in his heart: he wanted to build a permanent location that would be more fitting to house the presence of Jehovah. David elaborated his plans for the temple—a beautiful structure adorned with jewels, gold, silver, and all that was valuable and beautiful. Solomon noticed a slight change of tone in his father’s voice as he recalled the day that the Lord made it clear that David wasn’t qualified to build the temple.
Usually, when David had described this part, there was a pained look in his eyes and a sense of disappointment in his tone. David knew that God wouldn’t let him build because he was a man of war, but he had such a desire to bring honor to God by giving him a more fitting place to dwell! David’s voice would often trail off as he wondered how long it would be until God allowed a temple to be built for His glory.
But, this time, Solomon could sense David’s excitement as he announced to the current leaders of the nation that God had chosen Solomon, their future king, to lead the nation in the construction of the temple. David’s emotions welled over as he described how God was going to accomplish this pivotal task through his own son, Solomon. It was at this point that David pivoted toward Solomon and publicly exhorted him to know God and serve Him with a perfect heart and a willing mind. Even years later, Solomon would recall the moment that his father looked him in the eye and exclaimed, “Take heed now, for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it!”
The next part of the ceremony was equally as moving as Solomon watched some of David’s key servants present Solomon with several scrolls. “Those are all of the blueprints you’ll need—the porch, the houses, the treasuries, the chambers, the parlors, and even the place of the mercy seat: all you’ll need is right there.” Before Solomon could utter a word of thanks, his Dad also showed him the massive stockpiles of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, onyx, and precious stones for the construction and beautification of God’s house. On top of all of that, the assembled leaders brought even more materials to aid in the work of building the temple. Solomon couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the amount of materials King David had gathered to pass on to him.
Thankful for David
At home that night, as Solomon meditated on the events of the day, it struck him how significant his father’s labor was. For years, David gathered building materials and sought the Lord for help in drawing up blueprints—all for the completion of a temple that he would never see. David worked tirelessly to prepare the materials because he loved God and because he loved Solomon enough to equip him to fulfill God’s will for his life. David sacrificed many hours and financial resources because he wanted to enable Solomon to serve God and accomplish the great task God had given him. With tears in his eyes, Solomon thanked God for how his father and the leaders of Israel had invested in him and enabled him to better carry out God’s will for his life.
As I look back on my life so far, I can identify with Solomon. There are so many people who have fulfilled the role of a “David” in my life: they’ve sacrificed of their time and resources to equip me to serve God. I’ve been blessed with parents who encouraged me to serve the Lord, Bible college teachers who taught me God’s Word and how to walk with God, several pastors who have taught me to serve God and gave me opportunities to do so, good friends who have challenged me to do right, and a current pastor and church that is dedicated to preparing me for God’s next step for my life. Some of these have invested with great financial cost, and others have invested by giving of their time to mentor or encourage me. Without them, I would not be where I am today, and I am confident they will continue to play a major role in helping me continue to grow and mature.
Every Solomon Needs a David
I’m convinced that every Solomon-sized achievement begins with a David-sized investment. Think of the most successful person you know—secular or Christian—and ask yourself, “How many people invested into their life to make them who they are?” If you dig deep enough in every story, you’ll eventually find a David or two.
Here’s the kicker: making a David-sized investment often isn’t glamorous, especially when you only see its short-term effects. The day-by-day investment parents make in teaching their children to love and fear God is not glamorous. I could imagine how easy it would be to get discouraged as you try to consistently enforce rules and expectations, as you take time to answer their many questions, and as you try to teach them the Bible, only to encounter kids who find it impossible to sit still for a five-minute devotion.
It’s not easy to immediately see the effects of your investment as a teacher, either. How many times have teachers, in schools and churches alike, diligently prepared a lesson, but the only response they received was a room full of blank faces?
I could only imagine what it’s like for a pastor to pour his life into people and to constantly face the reality that some of those same people refused to accept his advice. He prayed for God to change their heart, yet he saw no progress. He preached a message that he knew could be relevant for that family that sat in the back of the left section, but they didn’t respond.
So why did David make such a great investment in the temple, knowing that he would never see any short-term results? He generously sacrificed because he knew that the greatest investment he could make was to equip the next generation to accomplish God’s will for their lives. He knew that a man’s greatest contribution is to be a part of a work that continues past his own lifetime.
The truth is, if you are going to invest in lives, you have to be prepared for a long-term investment. It’s rare for parents, teachers, pastors, and other mentors to see the fruit of their investment shortly after they make the deposit. Truthfully, many life-investments take months or years before the dividends are visible to those who invested.
A parent may not see progress as they work through the daily grind of parenting, but 18 years of consistently leading your children to love and fear God will leave a permanent impression on their lives. A teacher probably won’t see much response from an individual lesson or lecture, but a consistent effort to invest in young lives will never be forgotten: I can’t tell you who won the last 5 Super Bowls, but I could easily name 5 teachers I had in elementary school! A pastor may not see every family obey God, but a faithful pastor will get to watch as God slowly molds other lives into the image of His Son.
A Great Investment
The greatest investment you can make is to equip someone else to accomplish God’s will for their life. When you invest like David, you are making a spiritual contribution that will outlast your own life. There are a lot of ways to spend your money and time, but none of them can bring the lasting rewards that life-investments can bring. I believe John the Apostle knew the reward of investing in lives when he wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4).
Don’t stop investing like David because you never know how many Solomon-sized achievements you may be enabling.