“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, show yourself a man.” – 1 Kings 2:2
From the time that he was a little boy, Solomon had heard the stories about his father. King David was a legend even before becoming the king of Israel – defeating Goliath and leading the Israelites to a great victory over the Philistines, even as a youth. Solomon knew the stories of how his father courageously endured suffering under King Saul and survived continuous threats against his life. He also knew all about his father’s military triumphs and his capture of Jerusalem. Solomon knew his father was a larger than life personality – talk about big shoes to fill.
As King David neared the end of his life, he summoned his son, Solomon, to his bedside. It was time to impart his final words of wisdom. Imagine all that Solomon was feeling at that moment. He knew that his father was about to die. You can imagine the feelings of grief mixed with a sense of anxiety, perhaps fear, and uncertainty at the responsibility young Solomon knew he must soon carry. How could HE possibly follow that act? How would he ever live up to his father’s expectations?
But King David understood this pressure. He knew first hand that courage is not the absence of fear but the willingness to do the right thing in the face of fear.
So, what final words of encouragement and instruction did King David offer his son? “Be strong, and when you are strong, therefore, prove yourself to be a man.” What marvelous words to share on this occasion; what perfect words that any father can share with his son when he is beginning on his life’s journey.
Thankfully, we are not given this directive to live out in our own strength. Over and over in Scriptures, we see God promise to strengthen us through HIS power. If you’re feeling less than courageous in light of current events and life pressures or responsibilities, then may theses verses renew your hope:
- Isaiah 12:2: “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
- Psalm 145:18-19: “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.”
- Psalm 138:3: “When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.”
- Psalm 62:1-2 “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”
- Isaiah 43:1-3: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”