A Father’s Influence (1 Chronicles 22:11-13)

1 Chronicles 22:11-13 – 11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as he has spoken concerning you. 12 Only, may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.

1 Kings 3:5-10 – 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.

When people think of the story of young King Solomon, they often think of the popular passage above found in 1 Kings 3. We beam when telling our children of the young man’s asking God to give him wisdom and discernment instead of asking riches, wealth, fame, or fortune. Indeed, we should affirm that Solomon’s request was a very good one, as it pleased God (1 Kings 3:10). However, there is a work that was done behind the scenes that I have personally never seen exposed.

Tucked away in 1 Chronicles 22 is a bit of father/son time that David and Solomon shared. Many of us understand that David knew that Solomon would build the temple, and that David took great pains to gather all the necessary materials for his young son. But do we also remember the piece of advice that David gave his son in 1 Chronicles 22:12? Right there, before David’s death and before the event recorded in 1 Kings 3:5-ff, Solomon’s dad pointed Solomon’s mind toward the wisdom and discernment that his son would later ask of the Lord.

Dads, how are you influencing your sons? Are you spending the kind of time that you should with them? Are you opening God’s word to them. Are you working to direct their desires toward righteousness and the blessing of God? Are you pointing them toward wisdom instead of worldliness? Are you leading them into godliness?

The simple truth, when we study Solomon’s life, is that he did a few things right and several things wrong. When we study Solomon, we see that he was good in his doing of justice after David’s death, his seeking God’s wisdom, and his building of the temple. And, if we are willing to look, all three of those things happen because of the leadership of his father.

Dad’s, this concept should get your attention. No, you cannot guarantee that your sons and daughters will grow up to honor God with their whole lives; but you must, absolutely must, fulfill your God-given role in order to help them along the way. Teach your children, lead them in worship, guide them toward the Lord. To fail in this duty is a failure too great to imagine.