"And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed; for Jehovah God, even my God, is with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until all the work for the service of the house of Jehovah be finished." (ASV)
Most of us know the name of Solomon. We know him as a great king, an incredibly wise man, a powerful leader, and a man of God. While it's true that all of this can be said of him later in life, there was a time when he was simply King David's son, heir to the throne, and fearful of the tasks that lay before him. In the passage above, David has just revealed to the princes of the tribes of Israel plans for a great temple. He has also revealed that though he had planned to build it himself, God has instructed him to pass the task on to his son because David is not clean enough in God's eyes to do it.
Now, Solomon must have been thinking here that if King David, the King of all Israel, "a man after God's own heart" and Solomon's father, is not holy enough to undertake this task, how could he possibly measure up? But David has an answer for his son. He reminds him that God has called him to this task, and God will help him accomplish it. God is unfailing, God will not abandon you, he says.
This lesson is one that we often forget. God calls us to do great things some times. He instructs us to accomplish works that we feel unqualified to even attempt. It is easy to be fearful and tempting to say, "no God, find someone else, I can't do that." We should remember though that God never gives us a calling that He will not personally aide us through. Surely, all of the great Christian men and women throughout history have at one time or another felt unworthy of the tasks set before them. Yet, with God's help, wondrous miracles have been accomplished.
The temple David had designed was built, and it was considered to be Solomon's crowning achievement. It stood for 400 years as a house of prayer and sacrifice, a holy place, and the resting place for the tablets brought down the mountain by Moses on which the law of the Jews was inscribed.
It is also clear that God was present throughout the early years of Solomon's reign. He controlled a vast kingdom, ruled it with wisdom that amazed all those who saw him, and maintained peace for his people. He was wealthy, wise and a fair ruler. He worshipped his God with fervor and sought after truth in all things. Unfortunately, he eventually turned his back on God to seek after the idols that some of his many wives worshiped, and his reign failed.
There are many lessons to be learned from Solomon. Not the least of these is God's faithfulness to all those who seek to do His good works.