“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, how he was a legend even before becoming the king of Israel; how even as a youth, his father killed Goliath and led the Israelites to a great victory over the Philistines. He had heard how his father courageously endured the suffering under King Saul and survived Saul’s continuing threats to kill him. He knew of his father’s military triumphs and his capture of Jerusalem. Solomon knew his father was a larger than life personality.
As King David was dying, he summoned his son, Solomon to his bed. It was time to impart final words of wisdom. Imagine what Solomon was going through at that moment. He knew his father was about to die. You can imagine the sense of anxiety, perhaps the fear, the uncertainty young Solomon had. How could he possibly follow that act? How would he ever meet his father’s expectations? Was it even possible to fulfill this responsibility?
But King David understood his son. He knew that courage is not the absence of fear but the willingness to do right even in the face of fear. And the first thing he told Solomon was, “Be strong, and when you are strong therefore prove yourself to be a man.” What tremendous words to share on this occasion; what tremendous words that any father can share with his son when he is embarking on his calling on life.