THE END OF AN ERA- I CHRONICLES 28, 29
David reigned 40 years. I Chron. 28,29 is the last we have from him as he remembers victories and failures, plans for death, and arranges for Solomon to take charge.
Think ahead to the end of your life. Ask: 1) Who are you modelling your life after? 2) Would you like others to follow in your steps?
John Wycliffe might be called the Genesis of an era. This 14th century saint was determined to wrest the Word of God from the chains that attached it to pulpits and put it in a language other than the dead language of the clergy. He was a marked man by those that feared his actions. He believed they Bible should be for all and in the midst of tremendous persecution, and personal assaults both verbal and physical, he laboured until the English language Bible, O.T. and N.T was complete.
In bold defiance against the enemies of the day he wrote in the flyleaf of the first translation, AThis Bible is translated and shall make possible a government of the people, by the people and for the people.@
He did not know that 500 years later a lean and broken President of a new government of a new country would stand on the bloody fields of Gettysburg on a cold November 19th, 146 years ago this week and say with words borrowed from Wickliffe first Bible, AWe here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.@
Less that 12years later Lincoln was assassinated. One reporter said, AThis was not a death; it was the end of an era.@ Every so often a great person arises and begins an era- like Wycliffe. Then, there a few whose shoes are so large by the time they die, no one can fill them. David was like that. Greater than Solomon.
Historian G. Frederick Owen summarized David like this. ADavid satisfied the people of Israel. He quieted the Philistines for all time to come. Then, in the midst of peace he wrote many songs of praise to Jehovah. The elderly king gathered vast stores of stone, iron, brass, precious jewels and cedar for the erection of the temple of God. He gave his parting charge and closed the most successful royal career recorded in the annuals of history.@
We will set the stage for this O.T. lesson in the N.T.- Acts 13:36.
Put you name where David=s name is. Every person is different and every person has a purpose to fulfill. No one is insignificant. The tragedy is that we might live and die having never found that purpose. You have a particular set of instruments that will help you served in some way. Then, having served God and man, and in the twilight years be satisfied that God call fill up what you lacked.
David=s usefulness was in: serving as king, helping bring Solomon to the world, living for God and dying in peace with unfulfilled dreams.
I Chronicles 28,29- the end of David at hand. Four things are noted. He:
1)Reflects on the temple
2)Speaks to his son
3)Prays before God
4)Rejoices with the assembly
I. REFLECTING ON THE TEMPLE: AN UNFULFILLED DESIRE- I Chron. 28:1-8
A. David Reflects On His Unfulfilled Desire: 1-3
1. A great crowd is assembled
2. Dave rose to his feet- Can you head the silence?
3. He said AListen to me, my brethren and my people; I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God. So I had made preparations to build it.@
4. The first thing he shared was his dream that did not materialize.
a. This good king wanted to honour God by building the temple.
b. God said, ANo.@
c. David is sure now that it is not going to happen.
5. Being honest, we all have dreams. We may need to be alone, in private, but we do
a. Perhaps it is a career, a mate, a financial goal, or education
b. But it didn=t happen, and maybe it will not happen!
c. One of the hardest things is to die with unfulfilled dreams.
d. David handled it marvellously, how will you do with incompleteness at death?
6. David was a man of war. That=s O.K., but God chose Solomon his son
a. Solomon means Apeace@ and is from same root as Shalom=peace.
b. God had a job for David, and one for Solomon. Different temperaments
B. Next David Shows He Accepts God Decision- 4-8
1. David does not wallow in self pity, but focusses on the good thing God had given him.
a. It is so easy, especially when near death, to cry Apoor me.@
b. Instead, David looks at the beautiful bright side and is thankful.
c. He recognizes God=s sovereignty and his own blessedness.
2. The older we become the more certain we are of dreams left unfulfilled
a. Perhaps good things like a certain kind of ministry
b. Or becoming a missionary.
c. We can live our last years in misery and making others miserable too
d. Or we can say, I have been faithful, I know God will handle the rest.
II. SPEAKING TO THE SON: AN UNTRIED RULER- I Chron. 28:9-19
A. David Is Reflecting On A Life Lived Imperfectly
B. He Turns To His Son And Perhaps Sees His Dream Fulfilled In Him
1. Undoubtedly, there is emotion at this time.
a. Think about talking to you child about an important subject
b. It could be the necessary Abirds and bees@ talk or a spiritual decision...
2. As The King Chooses What Is Important To Impart, He Says:
a. ASolomon, know God!@
b. As a king busy with war, wives, kingdom affairs, David knows it would be easy to forget to keep God as #1.
c. Paul expresses this differently, Athat I might know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like Him in His death...@
3. Jesus said that to know God is to have eternal life.
C. Is That The Message Of Your Life To You Children?
1. Don=t wait till death. God must be first right now.
2. But, you last will and testament for you adult children still should be AKnow God!@
A Father Prayer by General Douglas MacArthur (May 1952)
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee ?and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.
Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, have not lived in vain.