Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Preparation of Advent

Advent Preparation Candle

For David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.” So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.

In 1 Chronicles 4:5, we see David preparing his son for a great work.

He had planned to build the Temple of the Lord, but sin had robbed him of the privilege of completing the work.  God still desired an earthly abode, but it would not be the hands of King David that would construct it.  So David, knowing this, did all he could to prepare his son, Solomon, to finish what he had begun.  He called together his people and they spent what I can only assume were years gathering the materials need to build a house worthy of the Lord.

Then he called for Solomon his son and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. (1 Chron. 4:6)

The preparations had been completed by his father, and now the son would walk out the calling.  Everything was ready, all the materials were gathered and the craftsmen were poised to begin this holy work.  The King was in his last days and his final act of love to his God was to pass on to his son the calling of the Lord for his family.

"Build a house for the LORD."  

Did Solomon's heart beat a little faster when he heard those words?  Did he wonder if he was equipped for such a task?  Or did he know, because his father had prepared him so well, that he was absolutely able, armed fully and gifted for the task that lay ahead?

Because King David stayed hands-on in the life of his son, his son was ready to obey the calling of God.

And then there is this:
Only, may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the Lord your God. (V. 12)

In other words, "Don't screw up the way I did, son.  Use the brain God gave you and obey Him even when things are easy and you are tempted to slack.  Keep your eyes and heart firmly focused on Him and seek Him in everything.  "

What a legacy David left for his son  What a model for me as I raise up my children.  What a lesson for us as we light the candles and prepare for the arrival of the Christ child afresh in our hearts!

Am I gathering a legacy for my kids?  Am I storing up treasures for them, Heavenly ones that will equip them for the task of walking with the Lord and shining His light in the darkness?  Am I focused on what is eternal, seeking how I may better prepare them for making hard decisions, taking a tough stand, sticking out like a sore thumb in a society that screams for confomity?  

As we light the candle of preparation, I pray we are doing these things.  I pray our children are being given every good tool of the Kingdom, clothed in the armor of God, and taught how to discern truth so that when they are grown and we are gone they can continue building upon the foundation the Lord has begun instead of having to start from scratch like too many of us have done.  

The preparation of Advent is more than decorating a wreath.  It is laying a path.  It is pointing with calloused hands toward the One for whom we live.  It is teaching our children and our childrens' children what it looks like to follow Jesus and making sure they have seen it modeled in our lives.  May our hearts beat faster in the anticipation of knowing that we are, indeed, equipped for the calling of God upon our lives.  

May we walk in the confidence of who we are in Christ right up to the manger where we teach our children how to fall on their knees and then rise to walk in obedience to our King!

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