And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.” (1 Kings 3:6)
A Son Talks About His Father
There are few men in the Bible that stand in the shadow of the second king of Israel: David. The youngest son of Jesse, David became king of Israel following the disastrous rule of Saul. He is remembered for two great stories showing his courage and his failures. Killing Goliath is a story of gigantic proportions as he faces the giant without fear. It would be the story of Bathsheba that would taint his life and rule as he committed adultery and murder for a moment’s reckless folly. David was a man after God’s own heart that battled sin as any man. When his son Solomon began ruling Israel, he described the character of his father in three simple terms – truth, righteousness and uprightness. There is no greater gift a man can give his children than a legacy of faithfulness to God. Seeking the blessings of the heavenly Father is the greatest blessing that can be left as a spiritual inheritance is passed from generation to generation. Solomon reflected on the character of his father in terms of endearment of the faithfulness to the Lord.
David was a man of truth. He had lived to a full age with many stories to tell. How many times he retold the story of Goliath to young children can only be imagined. Later he might have reflected on the lessons he learned from his sin with Bathsheba. It pained him greatly that king Saul hated him so much and spent most of his life chasing David like a flea in the wilderness. Whatever David said was measured with truth. His word was his bond. He was known as a man who did not lie. The character of David was a pattern of truth. Solomon remembered his father as a man proven in his example as a man that would act truthfully and with the word of God as his guide. Godly men will let their example be one of integrity and veracity. Speak the truth always and act according to truth. What will your children remember about you?
David was a man of righteousness. The character of righteousness is doing those things that are right. It seems a simple idea but it is profound. Doing what is right is not an easy task in a world that wants to do whatever feels good or seems fulfilling at the moment. Righteousness is based upon one thing: the will of God. The only rule of what is right is the word of God. This is where men have problems with righteousness because what God says and what men desire to do are often polar ends apart. Living a righteous life is an act of purity, holiness and truth. David was a man of truth because he was a man of righteousness. Solomon reflected on the character of his father and realized that everything about him came from a righteous attitude toward the heavenly Father. One of the greatest legacies we can leave our children is for them to remember us as righteous men. What will your children remember about you?
Finally, David was a man of uprightness. He feared the Lord and walked accordingly. His way was in the path of justice as he dealt with others. Integrity is a vital part of character that must be shown in the true light of God’s righteousness. Solomon acknowledged his father as a man who learned the righteous judgments of the Lord. There are many things that are passed on from generation to generation but the values of the personal traits impressed the mind of Solomon to remember his father as a man who walked with the stature of truth. Was David a perfect man? Clearly we often highlight the faults of David above his true character. He was not a perfect man but failed as all men fail. The character of David is not defined by his failures but his trust in the Lord. Solomon saw that. Every father should strive to imprint on the minds of their children the image of God as seen through their own lives. What will your children remember about you?