1 Kings 1:1-3 – “… Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn…”
If you were to die tomorrow, what would your last words be to your children, or to your spouse, or to your family and friends? Think hard about that question. Would it be something along the lines of, “Make sure you do all that you can to earn a lot of money and therefore find stability and security in your bank account”? Would it be, “Make sure you cross every item off your bucket list before you die”? Would it be, “Make sure to save a lot for retirement so that when you are young you can retire and then really enjoy life”? What would your last words be to those nearest you? Your last words reveal a lot about what you treasure in this life.
There are numerous examples of last words in Scripture. Jesus’ last words before he ascended into heaven were, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” His last command was to make much of the gospel by leading others to follow Christ! Moses’ last words urged the Israelites to consider God’s instructions as being the Israelite’s very life. He said in Deuteronomy 32:47, “These words are no empty word for you, but your very life.”
Now here in 1 Kings 1:1, as David is on his deathbed, he urges Solomon to walk in God’s ways, to keep his statutes, and to follow his rules so that “you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.” Three of the most significant men in Scripture said similar things as they were departing. Commit yourselves to the Lord above all things. God’s law, his commands, and God himself are to be your life.
How do these last words speak to you? Do they convict and challenge? Do you agree with them? At the end of our lives, it will be so easy to look back and wish we would have been more committed and focused on the Lord. Yet as we stand by today, I wonder if it is easy for us to think, “Well, I still have time to be serious about my faith.”
David’s words are profound: Walk in the ways of the Lord by keeping his commands. Obedience should be your goal as you follow the Lord. Listen to what David says is the result of obedience: “…that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.” The end result of obedience to God’s commands is prosperity. That word is such a dangerous word in today’s culture, as it has become the end goal, even the idol of many preachers, as if our success in this life and our financial prosperity is god. Yet the promise of God’s Word is that when we follow God’s law, seeking to be obedient, we will be prosperous. Yet, the question must be considered: Prosperous in what? Prosperity in earthly things or prosperity in God’s eyes? The heretic says we should obey so that we would be prosperous in this life, whereas the man of God says we should obey so that we would be prosperous in God’s eyes!
My desire in this life is that I would be prosperous in God’s eyes! That he would look at me and see me totally devoted to him no matter what. Is that your wish? Would that be your dying word that you would challenge and encourage others with?