podcast

#651 – Living with Courage (1 Kings 2:2–3)

Pray The Word
1 Kings
2
2-3
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“I am about to go the way of all the Earth. 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.”
(1 Kings 2:2–3)

What imparting words from a father to his son. “I’m about to die.” David says, “So here’s my encouragement to you. Be strong. Show yourself a man.” The image there, and the language is encouragement for Solomon to live and to lead with courage, with faithfulness to God’s word. “Keep the charge of the Lord, your God. Walk in His ways. Keeping His statutes.” And just list different ways to describe his words: statutes, commandments, rules, testimonies, as is written in the Law of Moses. That you may, so why, son, why do this? That you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. Like, this is for your good, it’s for God’s glory. This is for other’s good that will be affected by your life and leadership. Solomon, so be strong. The clear implication is, Solomon will be tempted to not be strong. To not be courageous, to not follow the word of God and in the process, to miss out on the prosperity that God desires for Solomon.

Let’s trust God’s Word even when it is not easy, knowing that we will experience God’s goodness.

I think about my life, I think about your life, and I think we all need this exhortation. What a good word for us today. Passed on from 1 Kings 2, 2 and 3. Be strong. Show yourself a man. Be courageous. Obviously this verse, while it’s specifically addressed from father to his son, applies not just to men. We all face temptations in our lives to be timid in obedience to God’s word. To be unfaithful when it comes to His laws, His rules, His commands. It is not easy to follow God’s word in this world. It requires courage and strength that God promises to provide and when we trust in His provision and when we walk faithfully with Him, courageously before Him, in this world today, we can know that God will bless us. That God will lead us, guide us, provide for us, that we might know His prosperity.

Now, to be clear, this is not necessarily the prosperity that we often associate with that word. We think, “Okay, so does that mean I’m guaranteed health, and wealth, which is being proclaimed in many places around the world?” No. That is not what we see as we read through the whole of scripture, particularly when we get into the New Testament. We don’t see Jesus promising perfect health, worldly wealth, if we follow Him. In fact, we see expectations that when you follow Jesus there will be suffering in this world. That you will actually want to lose, give away possessions for the spread of His glory in the world. But there is a deeper, higher, more wonderful, more truer, more fulfilling, more everlasting prosperity that is found in obedience to Jesus and His commandments, statutes, rules, testimonies. Guaranteed you will experience a fullness of prosperity from Christ, according to His word, wherever you turn when you walk faithfully with Him.

So God, may it be so in our lives. May it be so in my life today, help me to be strong. Help me to be courageous. Help me to trust your word, help me to obey your word. In order to experience all the good you’ve designed for my life in it. God please make me so.

I pray this over each person who is listening to this right now. God I pray for their strength, I pray for their courage in following your word. Help them to follow your word today, to obey your word, to trust your word, even when it’s not easy. I pray for their strength to it, and their courage toward it, that they might experience your good. Your blessing. Your love, your prosperity and full relationship with you. And full surrender to you. And full obedience to you, God, I pray these things over them.

I pray these things over my kids, over our kids, over the next generation around us, God, that we be faithful and our lives and our words to pass this exhortation on to those who come after us. God we pray that there would be strength and courage of faith flowing from each of our lives into other’s lives that we influence. Oh, God, may 1 Kings, 2, 2, and 3. Mark us. Both in our own lives and in the influence we have in other’s lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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