Chapters

By: Tim Grissom
Imagine standing in the corner of the room as the scene plays out. We are here to listen, to observe and learn.

Solomon enters; he kneels beside the bed of his father, David. Years have shrunk to hours. David’s final act will be that of both king and father: instruct Solomon on the main things of life and service.

But why are we here? What impressions is this exchange between father and son, old king and new king, dying man and living man to leave on us? What will we hear? How will it change us?

I’ve thought about this only a little, but here are a couple impressions the scene—recorded in 1 Kings 2—leaves on me.

Legacies are built on integrity. We all know that David was a flawed man, yet in the end, we identify his life with repentance rather than rebellion. He had given up his ways of hiding and denying and lying and blaming.

Can you imagine how differently this end-of-life conversation with Solomon would have gone had David still been living in darkness?

Integrity can be regained by the mercy and grace of God.

Our lives are chapters, not books. David didn’t build the kingdom on his own; he was neither the first nor the last to wear the crown. All his work that was underway would either be finished by someone else or left incomplete. Though a man of great influence, David’s importance didn’t make him immortal.

None of us are the book. Ours is not the whole story. And the sooner we come to grips with this, the more we will learn from the chapters that preceded us and the better we set up the chapters yet to come.
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, 
who will be able to teach others also.
—2 Timothy 2:1–2
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