Creating a Legacy for the Generations to Come
The other day, I was reading the Bible, and something stood out to me as never before. Maybe it’s because we’ve been loving being grandparents and are now preparing for the arrival of our second grandchild. Maybe it’s because I’m turning 55 in April. Or it could simply be founded on the importance we place on family. Whatever the reason, I saw building a legacy in a new way as I read 1 Chronicles 22, 28, & 29.
In these chapters, we read about King David’s desire to build a house for the Lord, but God told David his son, Solomon, would build it instead because David had been a man of war and had shed blood, whereas Solomon would be a man of rest (1 Chron. 22:7-10).
David’s heart was right, his plan was honoring, and yet it wasn’t his work to accomplish. He could have chosen to do it anyway because he really wanted to be the one to do it. He could have felt defeated, slighted, or offended by God. He could have felt shame, frustration, or disappointment. But David didn’t do or feel any of those things. Instead, he thoroughly prepared for his son’s success in building the temple.
David made sure the stones were prepared, the wood was cut, iron was available “in abundance for the nails of the doors of the gates and for the joints,” along with having enough bronze available it was “beyond measure” (1 Chron. 22:3). He also prepared a massive amount of gold and silver (vs. 14) and made sure the workers and craftsmen were in place for “every kind of work” (vs. 15).
In chapter 28, we read how David prepared detailed plans for every facet of the temple construction, the work of the priests and Levites, and all of the articles used – plans given to him by the Spirit (vs. 12-13). The weights of gold and silver were meticulously measured out for everything, even down to the forks used (vs. 14-18)! It’s really amazing to read how thorough David was in making sure his son could succeed at the work God had called him to do.
I love how David said, “All this . . . the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.” (1 Chron. 28:19) David set his son up for success and made sure he had everything he needed to accomplish the work and it was all by the instruction of the Lord.
David was also certain to speak into his son’s life, preparing him for what was ahead. “And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)
Not only that, David made sure the leaders were also prepared to help Solomon. “David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, ‘Is not the Lord your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the Lord and before His people. Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the Lord.’” (1 Chronicles 22:17-19)
So, David gave up his personal dream but created a legacy (that was ridiculously thorough) that would propel his son to success. It was far more than leaving a monetary inheritance. While David amassed and bequeathed ample financial blessings, he didn’t miss the facets of investing in his son’s character, equipping him to not just build the physical temple for the Lord but to also be a man with a loyal heart who would keep the Lord’s commandments, testimonies, and statutes, knowing that by doing those things, Solomon would have success in building everything for which provision had already been made (1 Chronicles 29:19).
David also knew where all the blessings came from – the hand of the Lord, and publicly acknowledged that as He worshipped the Lord before the people of his nation. David also prayed for his son and the people he governed who would now come alongside Solomon in this work.
How does all of this apply to us today and why has it been stirring my heart so much? As parents and grandparents, it’s vitally important we think through the details of the legacy we’re leaving the generations who will come after us.
- We may or may not have a financial treasure to leave them, but as with David, the Spirit still gives us plans to implement that will propel our generations for success in the work of their hands that God has called them to accomplish on earth.
- We can pray for them and cheer them on (including those yet to come), impart wisdom, and live lives of faith and worship that become inheritances they can build upon as our ceilings become their floors and our battles become their victories.
- We can be sure they know where all the blessings come from and how to live with grateful hearts.
- We all recognize it “takes a village” to grow and launch our kids into their God-given callings and destinies. We can be really intentional about creating that community, as well as pray for those who will be with them in the work set before them, and lead them in blessing and worshiping the Lord.
- We can teach our kids not to fear and how to walk with strength and courage, as well as what it looks like to have a loyal heart – one that’s intimately connected with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.
- We can walk humbly before God, lean into His leading, be willing to let go of the things that aren’t ours to do, and joyfully celebrate the callings of the ones we love – whether or not they’re called to carry on the dreams we had in our hearts to accomplish.
Psalm 123:7 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Heritage is defined by Merriam-Webster as “something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor (legacy, inheritance).” Children are our legacy and our inheritance, our reward and our gift from the Lord.
None of us were created to simply take up space on the earth, live the best lives possible with all the shiny things, make a name for ourselves, and do what’s best for us.
We were created to rule and reign in partnership with God and our families, establishing heaven on earth in the process, and bring light to dark places as we worship the Lord together and see His glory fill the earth.
We have a responsibility to create a lasting legacy, passing the torch to the next generations - after we’ve helped prepare and equip them for success.
I sense an urgency to this, and it includes an added element. As mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, we have to be aware of those who are fatherless around us and step in to raise them up as a generation who knows who they are and Whose they are because we’ve shown them through being part of their lives.
Will we say yes to intentionally doing all in our power as led by Holy Spirit to create a legacy for our generations? It couldn’t have been an easy task for David, but he didn’t shy away from it – he went above and beyond to see it through. Will we shape the world by the legacy we create or abdicate our responsibility? What will our decision be?
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