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The End of an Era
Scripture: Acts 13:36; 1 Chronicles 28:1-20; Joshua...
Track 19 of 19 in the David: A Man After God's Heart series
Running time: 58 minutes, 22 seconds.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

There is no doubt that there were individuals in history who by their birth ushered in the beginning of an era. There are those who when they died marked the end of an era. These people had tremendous influence on the society they lived in. They represented new ideas, brought about hope and peace, some revolutionized how things were done or how people thought. Some affected our value system while others showed the world a better way to live. It is hard when a great figure in society passes on.

Who would be considered an end of an era once they died and passed on? What made them a one of a kind? What was so special about them? David was the greatest king Israel ever had. His death marked the end of an era, the closing out of a period of time on earth that could never be duplicated. As great as Solomon became, he never took the place or equaled the reign of his father. David in a real sense marked the beginning and the end of an era. Basically we can say that God broke the mold when David died. We never again see such a great king until the emergence of Jesus some 1,000 years later.

Paul wrote a summary of David’s life in Acts 13:

Acts 13:36 For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.

Paul doesn’t write a huge amount but what he does write is huge in what it says. From Paul’s description of David, what were the important basics of his life?

For when ___________had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.

I want you to put your name there. The point I want everyone to understand with this statement is this, every one of you has a purpose for living. Not many has as great a purpose as David, but no one God brings to life on this earth is insignificant. The real tragedy in life is when people live and die never finding the purpose, that God given reason for serving our generation.

To laugh often amid much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you are at the end of your life, in that moment when you face death’s door, how will you know you have been successful in life. What things have you done that made a difference in someone else’s life? What things in your life do you still want to do? What is keeping you from doing them?

David’s purpose was to serve his generation as king and to advance the righteousness of Israel. That is why David was brought to this earth during his life. God set him apart to accomplish the very things he accomplished. His obedience to God allowed his life to be a success while his sin made that life painful at times. We are no different. We need to learn this from David.
1 Chronicles 28 and 29 record the last words and deeds of David’s life. David was involved in four activities:

* He reflected on the temple
* He spoke to his son Solomon
* He prayed before the Lord
* And he rejoiced with the assembly

Following these activities, Israel’s greatest king died ending an era in Israel’s history never to be repeated. There wasn’t another man to follow David that had the same heart for God that he had until the appearance of Jesus.

Reflecting on the Temple: An Unfulfilled Dream

1 Chronicles 28:1-3 David summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty men and all the brave warriors. King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’

After 40 years of service to Israel, David is old. We see that he calls his trusted followers together one more time. It must have been an awesome sight to see all his friends and trusted leaders together, those who helped him all along the way while he ruled Israel. But there is no question that David is disappointed that he didn’t get to see his dream of building the temple come true. I can imagine the many days and nights when by himself he planned and could actually see the finished product. But it wasn’t to be.

I want very much by the end of my days to have ______________.

What is your personal desire? What is your secret dream? If you could get one thing accomplished before you die, what would it be?David is an example of the reality that for many, the desired, secret dream goes unfulfilled. For many, it is the hardest thing in the world to face and accept. David faced this reality as a man after God’s own heart. He had the desire to build the temple but God said no. His response was to accept it. He heard the Lord’s no and he didn’t resent it.

When in this situation, when desiring to do something so bad and it is within your reach to do it, what is the greatest temptation to overcome, to resist?

When Solomon was born, he was given the name that means “peace”. The familiar Hebrew term known around the world, “shalom” is directly related t the root form in the name “Solomon”. God chose David’s son, a peacemaker, a diplomat, not a man of war, to build his house. He wanted a man with a different temperament than David to fulfill that dream. That is awful hard to do to let your dreams die and accept it. Look at David’s response:

1 Chronicles 28:4 “Yet the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the house of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel.

David is doing something here that is the best defense when we are faced with unfulfilled dreams? What is it? Too often we allow disappointment to over take us when things don’t go our way or we become bitter towards God when he sends us his “NO’s” in life. Too often we lose perspective and forget all the YES’s he gave us. I bet that if we could remember all the “NO’s” and “YES’s” in life and could write them down, there would be far more “Yes’s” than “NO’s”. For David, instead of crying over the fact that he didn’t get to build the temple, he looked at all the good things God allowed him to do. He really looked at life from God’s point of view.

Do you have some cherished desire that you know you are going to have to relinquish to someone else? This is a hard lesson to learn, but for most of us, it will happen. Usually it takes getting up in years to realize that this is going to happen. The younger we are the greater the dreams we have and the more determined we are to see them come to reality. But as we get older, many of us see that some of those great dreams and hopes aren’t going to happen. And when that reality sets in, it can be a hard pill to swallow. But like David, this can be an opportunity to find satisfaction in what God allowed you to do.

By nature, are you a person who concentrates on the problems in life and worries about what bad news will come next or are you a person who looks for the opportunities to be had I every situation? What is the difference between the two attitudes and what are the outcomes?

Speaking to the Son: An Untried Ruler

As David speaks to his leaders and commanders, in an emotional moment, he looks at his son Solomon. Deep down inside he had to be smiling knowing all the great things that were coming Solomon’s way. David won’t get to build the temple, but Solomon will so David passes onto Solomon some advice to his son. These words will be the final words recorded of David during his final days on this earth, and he chooses them very carefully.

If you were David at this moment in time and you were looking at your kids, what final words would you say to them? What would be on your heart that you wanted them to know and understand?

1 Chronicles 28:9 And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

This statement should not surprise us. The first thing he wanted Solomon to know was to “Know God”. Notice here he didn’t say, “Believe in God” but to “Know God”. There is a difference. David knew all too well that Israel was in dangerous times and very soon Solomon would be king. During very busy, tumultuous times, getting things done for the kingdom required a lot of time and that usually prevented the necessary quality time with God. In order to rule properly, like David, Solomon had to know God and that requires hours and hours of time with God.

Parents, forget about the advice you will give to your kids right before you die, what advice are you passing to your children now? What character and lifestyle are you investing in them?

I love to ask parents what they daily teach their kids about Jesus. Do you pray with them daily? Do you teach them the scriptures everyday or do you allow or hope someone else is doing it? Have you taught your kids the value of scripture memory and are you making sure it is a daily part of their lives? Do you do it with them so they see that it is a real thing to you? Have you taught your kids how to meditate on God’s Word? All of us want our kids to be successful and to prosper. We work very hard to make sure that happens. But to achieve true success and prosperity, it requires one thing.

Joshua 1:6-8 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

What are the secrets of success and prosperity? How do you teach this to your kids?

The second piece of advice David gave to Solomon was to serve God. David didn’t just say “serve God”, but he told Solomon how to serve God, with his whole heart and willing mind. Solomon wasn’t to hold anything back. David wanted Solomon to know that a life worth living is a life totally sold out to God and lived at a high pace. David could say these things because he himself had that kind of heart. David’s unforgettable legacy to Solomon was his never ending devotion to God. Solomon knew how to live for God because he saw it in his father’s life.

Dads, here is a tough question for you to answer and consider, what spiritual legacy have you left for your kids? Will your kids grow up knowing God and spending their lives serving God willingly? Are you modeling for them how a believer in God should live? Don’t expect your kids to surrender to God if their Dad first hasn’t done it and displayed it in life.

The third piece of advice was to seek the God of your father.

1 Chronicles 28:9-10 If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”

There is no doubt that David learned this third point of advice first hand. He wanted to make sure that Solomon didn’t have to go through the pain he did all because of his own disobedience. Working against God doesn’t pay, don’t try it and find out.

Here is the best part I think to this lesson. Even though David wasn’t going to get to build the temple, there is no doubt he thought about it a lot. His unfulfilled dream didn’t stop him from dreaming all together. Even in his old age, David still had dreams that he wanted to accomplish. He dreamt of the temple and God gave him the best plans for it.

1 Chronicles 28:11-12, 19 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. All this,” David said, “I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan.”

It had to be exciting to hand over to Solomon his finished plans for the temple of God. David could see it in his mind and it had to be invigorating to share the plans with his son, the man who would accomplish the dream and make it a reality. But before David concluded, he gives his son one last piece of advice for being successful. It is a message all us dads need to say to our kids everyday we are with them:

1 Chronicles 28:20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

What message do you communicate to your kids when you see them? Is it a message of encouragement or a message designed to tear them down? Your message is critical to them. This is the message of encouragement we need to tell our children everyday we see them. Be strong, be courageous, do the work, don’t be afraid or discouraged, God is there to always help you until your work is done. I am with you also.