“David said,'My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.'So David made extensive preparations before his death. 6 Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel.”1 Chronicles 22:5
When my children played sports in school, my wife would yell through the ball diamond fence, “4:13!” If you have ever heard my wife yell, you know my kids heard it and everyone else in a 3-block radius. The situation was usually brought on when one of them would be on the mound falling behind with a 2 – 0 count (2 balls, 0 strikes), or at the plate with the opposite count, 2 strikes and 0 balls. If I can continue to build the drama, and I think I will, the parent of the kid from the other team who was pitching or batting was telling their kid that they could succeed too. This led to who had the better parents. The one who struck out or the one who hit the homerun. Ok, I went a little too far with the drama. Scratch the last sentence about who was the better parent.
When the Bennett kids would hear their mom yell, “4:13” they would be reminded of what God’s word said in Philippians 4:13. Let me show you what the Amplified says. “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]” So, you can clearly see that did not mean that they were guaranteed to throw strikes or hit homeruns. It meant to remember who they are, who they belong to and no matter what they faced on the ball field or in life, they have the favor of God in them through Jesus to accomplish big things.
David knew Solomon would accomplish something big. God told him so. He would be the one to build what David could not. Parents, God is going to give you promises for you to pass to your children. These promises are big! They are blessings and favor that you hand down to your children and grandchildren. What God gives to you will encourage and empower them to do what God has called them to do. David wanted to build the Temple, but it would be Solomon instead. This would be a place described by David himself to be of “great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations." Talk about pressure. I wonder if Solomon’s mom Bathsheba was shouting through the lattice work when Solomon received the charge to build, “You can do all things through Jehovah!” David knew the task was big so he did what every parent should do, he prepared and equipped his son to build something magnificent.
When my kids heard the "mom yell" at the ball games, they also remembered the "dad prayers" at bedtime and before school. “God, thank you for the favor, now I bless them in Jesus name to walk in it.” Our job as parents was not to play the game or live their lives for them. Our job was to equip them to live life to the full. One of the best ways we knew to do that was to constantly equip them with what God said about them and eventually when they made the decision to follow Jesus, to listen to what God was saying to them. This is what David did with Solomon. God was speaking to David about the promise. David spoke to Solomon about God’s promise to build the temple. The day eventually came when God spoke to Solomon and filled with His glory what his father prepared him to build.
As parents and leaders we must get this right if we want to see the next generations serving the Lord. We are to empower and equip them to build something of great magnificence, fame and splendor for the nations to see. Their lives, families and purposes are magnificent, and we must do all that we can to equip them to be builders. The opposite would be to enable them to avoid hard things, pay big money to get them out of trouble and shield them from pain of discipline and hard work. One will build, another will tear down.
I believe what are seeing today is a generation of young leaders who have no stinking idea what “4:13” means and to be honest, I do not think it is all their fault. The way many are being raised has taught them that favor is mom or dad do their homework. I must admit, when I see the videos of young people with so much potential during these uncertain times destroying property, disrespecting authority and needlessly attacking innocent people, my first question is, where are their parents? Is this really what they were equipped to go and do? Is this something magnificent that brings fame and splendor?
I believe we can all do better. It starts with me as a parent and someday soon if my oldest son and his wife will get with it, a grandparent. As a spiritual leader, it begins with me to pass to the next generation a vibrant relationship with Jesus, not religion or meaningless programs. Stats tell us that the Church in America has become irrelevant to the younger generation. How does that happen? Here is my answer to that question. Your children and grandchildren will most likely serve Jesus like you. Consider this... What will the next generation be like if they live by your example?
I end with this. “So David made extensive preparations before his death. 6 Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel” (vs 5-6) We are all going to die if Jesus tarries. The promises God gives to you do not have to die with you. They can live in the generations following you if you will bring your kids in close and charge them to live for Jesus. Tell them to follow your example and learn from your mistakes. Talk, listen and understand. Use the issues we face today as conversation pieces around the table. Ask what they feel about what is going on in the world and then use that time to teach what God has said in His Word. Teach your kids through the pain of life and remind them who they are and what they can accomplish with and through Christ. Celebrate the victories and pray that they walk in God’s favor. And when they are facing an 0-2 count in life, yell through the fence, “4:13!”