« PreviousContinue »
worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world:"8 and finally, that in this matter, a matter of life and death, there must be no delay. “Behold,” as the apostle writes, “the Judge standeth before the door ;"9 and the wise man's words are words of truth and soberness,—“ Boast not thyself of tomorrow: for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”1 8 Tit. ii. 12.
9 James v. 9. 1 Prov. xxvii. 1.
DAVID'S ADVICE TO SOLOMON.
1 CHRONICLES xxviii. 9.
“ And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God
of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind : for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts : if thou seek him, he will be found of thee ; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever."
It was on no trifling occasion that the king of Israel delivered this wholesome and admirable charge to his son Solomon. In anticipation of his own approaching dissolution, about to go the way of all flesh, David with parental solicitude, in these his parting words, solemnly adjures the son of his love to set himself right manfully to the work unto which God the Lord had called him. David herein affectionately exhorts his child to acquaint himself with the will and the commandments of God, that holy and eternal God who had so wonderfully prospered his father, and who had exercised such abundant loving-kindness and forgiveness towards him. And so knowing and understanding what the Lord would have him to do, Solomon was earnestly counselled to devote himself to the Lord, and to
him cheerfully and faithfully, “ with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind.” And wherefore ? Because the Lord Almighty, the God with whom David and his son, and all Israel, had to do, was surpassingly excellent, powerful, and supreme in all his incommunicable attributes, “ searching all hearts, and understanding all the imaginations of the thoughts." “ Thine, O Lord,” as was David's devout acknowledgment at the conclusion of his address, “is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty : for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine ; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all ; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” Therefore was the mighty and everlasting God to be honoured and obeyed. He was to be loved for his mercies, he was to be reverenced for his majesty, and feared on account of the infinite extent of his power. Whilst his promises of favour towards the willing and obedient were sure and stedfast, his threatenings of indignation and his denunciations of wrath against the impenitent and wicked were no less awakening and terrible. And David, with all the strength of a father's regard, would deeply engrave this truth on the mind of his son: “If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”
Seasonable, my brethren, as all these words of king David were at the time they were uttered, and worthy to be had in remembrance by him to whom they were more immediately spoken ; there is in them that honest counsel, that sound and plain advice, which must render their perusal and consideration beneficial at all times, and to all persons, profitable to the soul's health,“ profitable unto all things,” profitable for the present and for the everlasting happiness of man. Yes, brethren, it must be ever needful and healthful for us to “know God," the Lord God of our fathers, in order that “serve him acceptably with reverence and godly fear ;?” serve him,” as David exhorts, “ with a perfect heart and with a willing mind.” The Almighty God claims this service of us on every principle of justice and love, of gratitude
2 Heb. xii. 28.