How successful can a reluctant evangelist really be?

When we last saw our friend Jonah, the reluctant evangelist, he was gasping in his first breath of oxygenated air in three days on the banks of the Euphrates River. The fish either slipped back into the H2O he was acquainted with or was dragged on shore and made into a grand feast by the natives of Nineveh. We aren’t told of his situation after he gave Jonah the ride of his life, so I’m speculating here.

Knowing human nature like I do I’m pretty sure people pulled out their cell phones and took pictures of this man with white skin and hair, that’s assuming he still had hair after three days in fish stomach acid. I don’t even want to venture a guess as to what happened to his clothes.

Somebody probably called one of the local television stations. Being a slow news day they got a team of reporters out there post haste. Hopefully someone gave Jonah some clothes to cover up his essentials before the cameras started recording.

They may have thought he was an alien from outer space when the first words out of his mouth were, “take me to your leader.”

On the walk to the palace Rachel, the blonde reporter, was full of questions. “How long were you in that fishy thingy?”

Jonah shrugged. “What day is it?”

Rachel tapped her phone screen and checked her appointment list. “It’s Thursday.”

Jonah kept slogging down the street. “Three days.”

Rachel shook her head. “How did you survive in there that long?”

Jonah glanced up. “My God.”

Rachel cleared her throat. “Yes, I should have put more emphasis in that question. My god, how did you survive three days in a belly of a huge fish?”

Jonah gave her a sideways glance. “No. I mean my God used that fish to get me here so I can deliver a message to your king.”

Rachel stared into the camera, then back at Jonah. “What message is so important that someone’s god would use a fish to transport a man here? Where are you from?”

Jonah kept walking. “I am from the people of Israel. I serve the one true God who created everything we see. He controls the wind and waves. He used a great fish to transport me here to say…” he stopped and looked directly into the camera. “You wicked Assyrians have forty day and God will overturn your capital of Nineveh.” He turned and continued his trek.

Rachel faced the camera. “There you have it folks. Fishman says his god will wipe us out in just over a month. I wonder what the king will have to say about this?” She stopped, then turned and trotted after Jonah. “If you’ve been in a fish for three days you must be hungry. Can I buy you a meal? I hear the restaurants are all having a special on fish today.”

Jonah waved a backward hand at her. “I’ve sworn off fish for the rest of my life. I’ve seen what they eat. It’s disgusting.”

****

There you have it, the first-hand account of what really happened when Jonah went to Nineveh–as near as I can determine it from the limited details offered in the Bible.

So, what did the king do after Jonah delivered God’s message to him? He sent out a decree that NOBODY–and I mean NOBODY–was to eat or drink anything. Even their animals couldn’t eat. I guess the mice threw a major party knowing cats couldn’t eat them (you’ll find out someday why I find humor in that gesture).

Not only that but EVERYBODY–and I mean EVERYBODY–was to wear sackcloth. Yeah, even the cows, horses and camels. I can only imagine trying to get a cat to wear sackcloth. Good luck with that.

So, what did God do when He saw their reaction to His warning? He relented and let them live.

So, what did Jonah do when he saw his efforts resulted in people living longer? He went out and threw himself a party. Tune in next time to see exactly what kind of party he gave himself. I’ll give you a hint: it was held as far away from water as he could get.

So, what news do I have for those of you reading this? The God of second chances is as alive today as He was in Jonah’s day.

That’s right, no matter what you’ve done in your past God will graciously bring you into His family if you repent of your sins and accept His gift of salvation through the atoning death of His Son Jesus.

And, for those of us who’ve done just that, God is planning a major party for us when we all get to heaven. It’s called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Trust me you don’t want to miss it for the world.

Keep smiling.   Wade

HERE KITTY KITTY

“I’m amazed and delighted at how well your precincts are complying with the new tax laws being imposed on them, Daniel. I usually get some skimming from those in charge. What makes you so different from the others?” Darius sat forward on his throne.

Daniel shrugged. “My God won’t allow me to take what doesn’t belong to me. It’s one of our basic laws.”

The king sat back and smiled. “I should make you the top administrator of this government. I’ve never met a man like you in all the world.”

****

A few days later Daniel stood in attendance along with the other government officials for a special announcement from King Darius.

Darius stood in front of his throne. “All of you know that tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of our takeover of the Babylonian government. In celebration of that milestone all government business will cease for the next day. You are free to do whatever your heart desires. I also have a new decree signed into immediate effect.”

He reached over, took the parchment from the satrap next to him and read it. “‘Anyone who prays, pays homage to, or in anyway acknowledges any god other than King Darius for the next thirty days shall be thrown into the lion’s den.’ I shall remind you that any laws signed into effect by the Medes and Persians cannot be altered or changed by any means.”

He looked out over the group. All eyes seemed to be focused on Daniel. Daniel stood erect silently staring back at the king.

Darius raised his arms. “You are dismissed.”

A loud cheer filled the air. Groups of men parted for various partying facilities. Daniel strode quietly home alone.

When he got home he went upstairs and opened the window facing west. “Jerusalem, the chosen city of the LORD’s temple, my eyes shall not see you again. Yet, my mind still walks your streets.”

He dropped to his knees and bowed his head on the sill for his usual prayer. “LORD, I know there is no other god before You. No matter what laws are written that will never change. I will face whatever consequence comes from obeying You alone.”

He noticed a group of men watching him the three times he repeated this the next day.

Later in the day Daniel opened his door in response to a knock. Some top government officials faced him. “King Darius needs to see us all immediately.”

Daniel stepped out and closed the door behind him. The men made sure Daniel was in front of them when they stood before the throne.

Darius stared at Daniel. “Is it true that you continue to pray to your God even after my edict went into effect?”

Daniel nodded. “I will continue to worship the one true God of all creation as long as I live. No matter what man-made laws are written.”

The king glanced at the crowd, then back at Daniel. “To the lions’ den with you!”

Daniel leaned toward the king as they approached the enclosure. “I’m ready to die, my king. I’ve lived a good long life. My God can save me if He pleases. My life is in His hands not yours.”

They lowered Daniel into the pit. The echo from the lions’ roars was deafening.

Darius leaned over and looked at the captive. “May your God save you, Daniel.”

The stone was rolled over the pit’s entrance. After awhile Daniel heard the door to the big cats open. The hairs on his body stood up as the sound increased. He closed his eyes and sent up a prayer. “LORD God I know You will be glorified in this.”

When he opened his eyes Daniel saw a man in front of the lions. His calm voice quieted their growls. “There now Brutus. This one is off limits to you. Be kind to My friend and I’ll see to it you get a hearty breakfast.”

The largest cat approached Daniel and nosed his hand up. His mane rubbed Daniel’s side. Daniel stroked the cat’s back.

Brutus laid down. Two other male lions laid down nearby forming a mat with their manes. Daniel laid on their make-shift bed. A forth lion covered Daniel’s feet. He drifted off into a deep sleep.

****

Don’t you just love a good story where the hero survives against all odds? The best part about this story is that it actually happened.

The story didn’t end here. King Darius ended up feeding the men who set Daniel up for this to the very lions that didn’t eat Daniel. Not only those men, but their families as well. I know that sounds gruesome, but that’s how it occurred.

Then King Darius issued another decree that was sent throughout his kingdom that declared everyone was to fear and reverence Daniel’s one true God who saved him from the lions.

That was one of those decrees from the Medes and Persians that can’t be changed. So, are you fearing and reverencing this one true God of Daniel?

You still can, you know. The God of Daniel is the same God seated on Heaven’s throne today.

There are times when it’s prudent to ignore man’s laws. When they interfere with worshiping God we are to supersede His will for their desires.

Daniel recognized this as one of those times in his life. He was willing to die rather than stop his usual practice of praying openly to God.

Have you developed your relationship with God that you’re as willing to die for Him?

In my teen years a sentiment went out that asked a simple question. If it was against the law to be a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Daniel’s enemies had to design a law that attacked his beliefs in order to get rid of him because they couldn’t find anywhere that he defied the laws on the books.

Can the same thing be said of you and me?

I’ll see you later.   Wade

 

The first recorded submarine invasion and non-hostile takeover of an inland city

When we last saw our buddy Jonah, the strong-willed, directionally-challenged prophet of God, he was about to hit the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. His thoughts led him to believe this was the end of God’s plan to change the hearts of the evil Assyrians in Nineveh. I guess he didn’t know his God as well as he thought he did.

There’s a brief pause once you hit the surface of the water before the water engulfs you. (Don’t ask me how I know this, but a word of advice to college-aged young men reading this–don’t announce your wedding engagement during soccer season.) If Jonah’s eyes were open the last thing he would have seen is a stormy sky and angry sailors.

Just as it looks like this is the end of our hero’s adventure God throws in an incredible twist that nobody saw coming. The first submarine voyage ever recorded took place as the mad sea-fairers watched. Yeah, Jonah  disappeared as a huge fish swam by. Those heathens were pretty sure Jonah’s God meant business with this guy.

Instead of this being the end of our protagonist’s jaunt God was using His own means of conveyance to get His man to His intended destination while giving Jonah a three day time-out.

Some questions come to mind at this point in the story.

Was Jonah awake during this time in the belly of the fish? Yes. He was awake enough to offer up a prayer for God to give him a second chance. Which God was already in the process of answering. You see, the attitude adjustment did work it’s course according to plan, God’s plan.

How did Jonah breathe in there? Apparently God had the fish gulp enough air for Jonah to survive. You can ask God when you get to heaven for a more definitive answer cuz that’s all I got for ya.

If the boat sailed out less than a day why was Jonah in the fish for three days? You’re apparently thinking God had Jonah taken to the shortest route back to shore. I think God made His own temporary version of the Suez Canal to get Jonah around the Saudi peninsula through the Straits of Hormuz and up the Euphrates River so the fish could barf our buddy on the beach in downtown Nineveh. God knew He needed to use our man before he had a chance to change his mind.

What would you do if you’re fishing the banks of your favorite river and a humongous fish deposits a breathing person right next to you? I don’t know what I’d do either, but I do know he’d have my attention.

Tune in next time to see how well this twisted evangelistic endeavor turns out in As The Fish’s Stomach Churns.

So, what lessons can we glean from this portion of the story? You tell me cuz, other than displaying God’s sovereignty, I’m at a loss.

This story is so filled with God’s awesome amazement that many liberal scholars have written this all off as a fictitious tale. I don’t know about you, but the God of the Bible I read is completely capable of accomplishing everything I’ve read here.

Then again, I got saved so young I don’t remember not being a Christian. This story made sense to me as a boy. It still does today.

God still has incredible opportunities available to us today. The odds are still stacked against us in our own power. But, when you serve God instead of a god anything is possible.

I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that. I have numerous things in my life that are completely out of my control. I trust God is working behind the scenes to accomplish His will–He always has in the past. Why would He stop now?

My advice to you: release your grip of the situation you can’t control. God can’t steer your car if you have the controls. Trust Him.

Get as many people praying for your situation as you can. God answers prayer. Jesus taught that numerous ways. Pray to Him.

Be open to an outcome you don’t expect. God’s ways are His ways not our ways. You may not get your answer in your lifetime. Brace yourself for anything.

God loves you.

Keep smiling.   Wade

A KING’S DECREE

“I’m amazed and delighted at how well your precincts are complying with the new tax laws being imposed on them, Daniel. I usually get some skimming from those in charge. What makes you so different from the others?” Darius sat forward on his throne.

Daniel shrugged. “My God won’t allow me to take what doesn’t belong to me. It’s one of our basic laws.”

The king sat back and smiled. “I should make you the top administrator of this government. I’ve never met a man like you in all the world.”

****

A few days later a group of government officials assembled before King Darius.

One of the satraps stepped forward and bowed. “Live forever, King Darius. We come before you to offer a suggestion for a way to celebrate the one year anniversary of your conquest of Babylon. May the king sign a declaration forbidding anyone from making petition to any god or man, other than you O king for the next thirty days. Any offender will be thrown into a den of lions.”

Darius looked at all the smiling faces. He sat back and smiled, too. “Bring me the parchment. I shall make an edict that cannot be revoked according to the laws of the Medes and Persians.”

A cheer arose when the paper was signed and sealed with the king’s signet ring.

****

Two days later some of the administrators were in front of Darius again. “We have found one of the captives of Judah who has no respect for you or your laws, oh mighty king. We observed Daniel praying three times yesterday with his window facing Jerusalem in outright contempt for the decree you signed recently.”

Darius slammed his fist on the arm of his throne.

The minute of silence was broken by a satrap. “The laws of the Medes and Persians cannot be revoked. Daniel must be thrown in the lions’ den by this evening.”

Darius pointed at the door. “Leave me!”

He spent the remainder of the day with his secretary of state. “Can I write another decree over-riding the first one to make exception for captives of foreign peoples?”

The secretary shook his head. “I’m afraid that would be a direct violation of the laws of the Medes and Persians, your highness.”

Darius paced. “Can I send Daniel on government business for the next month until this edict is dated out?”

“That would be too obvious now that you know of his offense. He should be under arrest to assure he doesn’t run.”

“He’s too honest and trustworthy. That’s why they had me set this trap for him. They knew he wouldn’t keep it.”

As the sun neared the horizon a knock came to Darius’ door. The door opened to show the government officials all standing there, including Daniel.

Darius swallowed. “To the lions’ den with you, Daniel.”

Daniel leaned toward the king as they approached the enclosure. “I’m ready to die, my king. I’ve lived a good long life. My God can save me if He pleases. My life is in His hands not yours.”

They lowered Daniel into the pit. Darius leaned over and looked at the captive. “May your God save you, Daniel.”

The stone was rolled over the hole and sealed with wax so signet rings could be embedded in it to assure nobody tampered with the obstruction.

As Darius left he raised his hand. “Release the lions.”

****

At the first sign of morning light Darius raced to his secretary of state’s room. “Come, quickly. We must check on Daniel.”

The secretary shook his head. “Do you want a section of leg bone as a souvenir of the old man, or what? There’s nothing left of him by now.”

Darius tossed a robe on the bed. “Hurry up. I need verification I didn’t tamper with the stone.”

 An eerie silence filled the chamber of the lions.

Darius raced to the stone. “Daniel, has your God saved you from the lions?”

“King Darius, live forever. God sent an angel to shut their mouths. I’m fine.”

Darius pointed at the undisturbed wax and made sure his secretary was looking at it. He faced a guard. “Remove the stone and release Daniel.”

A lion shook out his mane as he watched Daniel being lifted out of the den.

Darius inspected him. “Not even a scratch. Bring the families of the men who had me sign that edict. I’m making another proclamation now.”

After Darius fed the lions a hearty breakfast of the families who trapped him into writing the first decree he wrote another that was sent throughout his entire realm. “All people will worship the true God of Daniel who is able to save a man from lions.”

****

Pride is a stealthy predator. It’s vice-like grip holds the heart of many in power. No matter what version of the Bible I read it doesn’t sound like it took much coaxing to get Darius to write the decree that sent Daniel to the lions’ den.

Those government officials knew the exact string to pull to get the law in their favor and put an end to this man of God who threatened to put an end to their dis-honest ways.

Darius was cornered in their trap before he knew what hit him. And Daniel didn’t take long to spring the trap.

I think Darius learned a lesson about quickly giving in to other people’s ideas about how to conduct his government.

Have you learned a similar lesson in your life? No, you likely don’t run a government, but perhaps you’ve insisted on something in your family that’s a detriment to one or more members.

Prayerfully consider lightening up enough to show grace in the circumstance you’re in. You have that power available to you. It’s not about your prideful right to be right. It should be about displaying God’s love to a confused, hurting soul.

Perfection was only lived out in one life. Jesus didn’t condemn the hurting in His day.

Why should you?

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Was Jonah hard of hearing or hard of loving?

Have you thought about the book of Jonah in the Bible lately? I hadn’t until a recent sermon brought it back to my attention. If you’re looking for humor in the Bible Jonah is full of it in my humble opinion.

The book starts right out with a direct directive from God to Jonah. “Go to Nineveh.”

Jonah knew his geography. Nineveh was east-northeast of modern day Israel. So what would you do if God told you to go east? To stay on God’s good side I’d go east. Not our buddy Jonah. He was apparently one of those strong-willed types.

Instead of walking to where God told him to go he went west and hopped a boat to moved as far away as quickly as possible from those folks who were known to be extremely wicked.

You see, it’s not that Jonah was directionally-challenged, he knew exactly what he was doing. Because he knew the God he served too well.

Jonah didn’t want those heathens to get on God’s good side so he risked getting on God’s bad side just so they wouldn’t not get what they had coming to them, in Jonah’s opinion.

He didn’t wait for a cruise ship, neither. Nope, the first cargo boat pushing off shore was quite all right for our pal Jonah. He pays their fare and collapses down in the bowels of the ship.

Apparently Jonah was so worn out from wrestling with God that a storm at sea couldn’t keep him awake.

In the meantime the sailors on deck were heaving their cargo overboard to save themselves and the boat. That didn’t help much so they all start praying, or doing whatever their personal god required of them, in an attempt to make the wind stop.

Suddenly one of them realizes our buddy Jonah isn’t among the panickers so they commence a search. Cap’n finds our friend deep in the ship sawing logs so to speak. “How can you sleep at at time like this? You told us you were running away from your God, so pray to Him for us to make this wind stop before it kills us all.”

Out of desperation they cast lots to discover who caused this storm. Sure enough, our  good friend Jonah gets the credit for ruining everybody’s cruise.

Finally Jonah gets his chance to be a witness for the LORD when they ask him point blank about Him.

Jonah confesses to serving the creator of everything, including the sea and wind. Then he proposes they throw him overboard.

These guys didn’t mind tossing inanimate stuff in the water, but sending a man to his watery grave while he’s still breathing was a bit much for them to stomach. They try to row row row their boat ashore to no avail.

To show how strong of an evangelist Jonah was God has the heathens pray to Him before they toss him in the drink.

I’m pretty sure Jonah was thinking, “at least the Assyrians in Nineveh won’t get preached to.”

Tune in next time to see how God gets His way with strong-willed, directionally-challenged, soggy prophets who try to run away from Him.

So what about you? Are you not doing something God has laid on your heart to do? Is there a need at your church that needs to be filled that you know you’d be good at?

God created you for a purpose, probably many tasks when you admit it.

Take a step of faith and discover where He can use you today. I’m confident writing and speaking are in my near future. In the mean time I volunteered to step in at our early childhood ministries so regular volunteers can take a summer hiatus.

I’ve volunteered for some Easter and Christmas services in the past. God broke my heart in the membership classes when I heard they have to turn families away because we don’t have enough adult volunteers.

I’ve been placed in various age groups over the years doing this. Toddlers seem to be drawn to me in their time of despair. I never would have discovered this if I’d simply sat on the sidelines and prayed for someone else to step in.

Don’t make God take desperate measures to get you to do what He’s asking you to do. Please follow your inner heart’s desire to please God.

Lives are waiting to be changed by your action.

Keep smiling.  Wade

GOD’S SPIRIT WITHIN

Daniel spent the evening in prayer. Tonight was a particularly difficult time of struggle. The sounds from the party were echoing in his chamber. His heart had been torn from his chest earlier when he heard King Belshazzar yell out, “Bring the chalices from the temple in Judah.”

“LORD God have mercy on their souls. They don’t realize the extent of their sins. The alcohol has taken control. Please keep them from over-stepping their bounds established by You. I know they deserve punishment, but, I also know I must intercede for them…”

A knock on the door shook Daniel from is thoughts. He stood and opened the door. He recognized the two envoys of the king.

One of them pulled the door open all the way. “Daniel, King Belshazzar requests your presence at the party immediately.”

Daniel pushed back from the door and shook his head. “I have no desire to attend that drunken orgy.”

The second man reached in and grabbed Daniel’s sleeve. “There’s been an extraordinary development. He needs your God-given wisdom now.”

Daniel leaned an ear toward the window. Sure enough, the music, laughter and screams had stopped. He turned to the two men. “I’ll do whatever I can.”

Daniel willed his feet to carry him to the back of the room where the king was. The stench of alcohol, vomit, and various other bodily functions assailed his senses to an extreme. He fixed his gaze straight ahead so as not to fill his eyes with the nudity that still surrounded him.

The king’s face was pale as he stared at the wall. Daniel bowed in his presence.

One of the envoys spoke. “King Belshazzar, I present to you Daniel from Judah.”

Belshazzar turned to Daniel. “Are you that Daniel my father brought from Judah? I have heard that the Spirit of God is in you so that you can interpret dreams and solve riddles. I saw a hand come here and write this on the wall.” He pointed to the place he was staring at. “If you can read this and give its interpretation I will clothe you in purple, put a gold chain around your neck and make you the third ruler in Babylon. None of my other wise men could do so.”

Daniel held a hand in front of him. “You can keep you gifts, King Belshazzar. I have no desire for them, but I will read this and tell you its interpretation.”

He faced the wall and studied the writing while sending up a silent prayer. He shook his head when he turned toward the king. “Your father was given a mighty kingdom and power by God. Stubborn pride pulled the king to God’s judging table. The time spent as a wild beast returned Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity to him in time for him to be re-established on his throne before his death. You should have remembered this my king. Instead you set yourself up against God by profaning His implements of worship in this way.

“You mocked the God who holds your very breath in His hands, King Belshazzar. The hand you saw was sent by God. This is His message to you.

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN

Mene: The days of your reign have been judged and ended.

Tekel: You have been found lacking on His scales.

Parsin: Your kingdom has been divided between the Medes and the Persians.”

King Belshazzar stood and clapped. “Bring a purple robe and a gold chain. You, Daniel, are now the third ruler in Babylon.”

Daniel stood as the robe and chain were set on him. Then he returned home to continued to pray for that nation’s rulers.

###

This chilling scene recorded in Daniel chapter five should stand as a reminder to all rulers what can happen if they cross God’s line of authority for rulers. It doesn’t because they don’t read about it. What a shame.

There’s a line repeated in this chapter I want to emphasize. It was first used by someone who apparently didn’t attend the original party. The queen came in when she heard the noise come to an abrupt halt. She quickly remembered a man who was recognized as having the spirit of the gods in him, Daniel.

King Belshazzar uses this description of Daniel when he addresses him the first time he comes on the scene.

Would someone use that phrase for you?

As recipients of God’s grace today we have His Spirit living within us as a deposited proof of adopted kinship.

Are there any outward signs you have this condition in your life? Would someone say you have the Spirit of God in you?

Would you have gone to the king’s party to enjoy the benefits of being one of his upper elite? Or, would you have kept yourself pure for God by staying home and praying for those in charge?

We know the route Daniel took and we see the way God honored him. It’s much longer-lasting than the honors the Babylonian king bestowed on him.

I hope your desire is to serve the one true God in heaven over any earthly leader, be it of a country or a company.  Devote yourself to establishing God’s kingdom over any man’s kingdom and you’ll never regret that decision.

It may cost you a good-paying, high-level position in the company you always wanted to work for. God will honor you for taking a stand for Him.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Spoken words are funny animals

Have you ever really listened to how some people say certain words?. I have and found some humor in what I’ve discovered. Listen in as I uncover what I’ve discovered.

Or you can just watch my video. Either way, enjoy.

 

Keep smiling.   Wade

THE RIGHTFUL SUCCESSOR

David opened his eyes to find one of his servants staring at him. He rolled on his back and let out a deep sigh.

“How did my lord the king sleep?”

“Your lord didn’t sleep much at all last night. Is it too much to ask for a fire in this room? I was too cold again.”

The servant came over and pulled the blankets up to David’s chin. “Perhaps more blankets would help.”

David pushed the blankets off. “NO! I can hardly breathe with the blankets I have now. There must be a better way for me to keep warm.”

“Would the king prefer to have one of his wives, or a concubine, perhaps, share the bed with him?”

“Maybe…no, that won’t work. They’ll expect sex from me. I can’t…I’m too old for that now. Besides, the last thing I need is another successor to the throne. I guess I’m just waiting to die.”

“A virgin, then, we’ll search all Israel to find a suitable young woman to care for the king and keep him warm at night.”

David looked at his servant, then nodded. “Let’s try that.”

****

A knock on the door got David’s attention. A servant stuck his head in. “Bathsheba requests the king’s time.”

David stuck an arm up. “Help me sit up, Abby.” David steadied himself on the edge of his bed. “Let her in.”

Bathsheba floated across the room as only she could. Her gaze was fixed on Abishag.

David quenched a smile. “What would the most beautiful woman of God’s chosen people like from the king?”

Bathsheba raised her chin and faced David. Her eyes never left the young woman next to him. She bowed low. “Didn’t my lord the king promise his servant that our son, Solomon, would sit on the throne after him? Perhaps you don’t know this, but, Adonijah has assembled most of Israel to himself. Indeed, General Joab, the priest Abiathar and all but Solomon have joined him at En Rogel to pronounce him the next king. The whole nation is waiting to see how you’ll respond to this instance. If you do nothing Solomon and I will likely not survive after you die.”

Another knock disturbed the conversation. “Nathan would like to see you, Sir.”

David held Bathsheba’s hand. “Let me talk to Nathan. Everything will be all right.”

David watched her walk out and studied the face of Nathan as he approached.

Nathan bowed low. “Has my king set up Adonijah as his successor? He’s sacrificing many animals in front of Joab and Abiathar, as well as all of your sons, but Solomon. They’re feasting and yelling, ‘long live King Adonijah!’ Zadok, Benaiah, Solomon and I are about the only ones not invited to this event. Did you decide this without letting us know about it?”

David leaned over and made eye contact with his servant at the door. “Show Bathsheba back in here.”

When she stood next to Nathan David nodded. “Nathan, you and Zadok take Solomon on my mule to Gihon and anoint him King of Israel. Bring him back here and have him seated on my throne. He shall indeed be the next king as the LORD has established.”

Bathsheba bowed on her knees. “May King David live forever.”

****

As David felt his strength waning he called King Solomon into his bedroom. “My son, you have a most difficult task before you now. The leader of God’s chosen nation has a high price to pay. Much is demanded of you. Do your best to follow the LORD with your whole heart and soul. When you do He will be faithful to fulfill His promise to me that there will always be a son to sit on that throne.”

Solomon bowed and kissed David’s hand. “I will do my best, father.”

****

Passing a legacy on is one thing. Ensuring that legacy is continued requires a lot more purpose.

King David left quite the legacy in his wake. The leader who finally rid the promised land of its inhabitants almost blew his opportunity to successfully pass his throne on to the rightful king in his place.

Perhaps David felt his intentions had been know to enough people that Solomon would be seated on the throne after his death. Unfortunately his other sons had aspirations of their own. Adonijah attempted to take advantage of his dad’s weakened state to try a takeover of power on his own, and he came close to succeeding.

While David ranked high on being a king he scored pretty low in the dad category. Passing on his love for God was a place he blew it.

Solomon, even with all his wisdom, didn’t come close to being a man after God’s own heart like David was. Why? Because David didn’t spend the necessary time with his heir to the throne required to catch this legacy in his lifetime.

What legacy are you leaving for your offspring?

It’s not too late to change it to one closer to being a person after God’s own heart. Then spend the time and purposeful effort to pass on this legacy of love for God you want them to have after you’re gone.

Don’t assume taking them to church once a week will be enough for them. An hour or so each week isn’t enough time to pull them away from the influences they face on a daily basis the rest of the week.

If they don’t see you living out a daily, intentional walk with God through Jesus they’ll never know how to do it on their own.

Be thoughtful and intentional in what you show your kids and others around you.

If you’ve blown it up till now make the necessary changes to fix it. The new direction will be noticed and will make an impact.

You can’t control how well your offspring will live their lives, but, you can control how strongly you finish your race.

Finish well, my friend.

I’ll see you later.   Wade