“And give unto Solomon, my son, a perfect heart, to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes. . .”
I Chronicles 29:19a
When we’re born again, we’re given a spiritual heart transplant and should ask the Lord to help us grow into His likeness more each day.
What a beautiful prayer David prayed that day as he “blessed the Lord before all the congregation” (v.10). He knew the time of his death was near-at-hand; he also knew he’d not be able to build the Temple he so longed for, but must leave it in the hands of his dear son, Solomon.
Thankfully, instead of growing bitter over God’s refusal to let him build it, David demonstrated great Grace by wanting Solomon to build it to God’s Glory. So often we allow petty resentments to rob us of our joy, which also prevent us from rejoicing in others’ achievements and success.
But, such was not the case with David.
His fatherly prayer in today’s Manna is one every parent ought to pray for his/her child: “And, Lord, give unto my child a perfect (Heb. ‘shalem’—‘complete, friendly, benevolent, mature, peaceable, whole, etc.’) heart to keep Your commandments, testimonies and statutes.” Wouldn’t our world be a much better place if every parent prayed that way?
Assuredly it would—particularly if that parent prayed the same thing for himself/herself.
Surely, there can’t be a better benediction over our children than this one. Even if we’ve repeatedly strayed from the “strait-and-narrow” in our lives, we should pray our children won’t follow suit. Instead, we should want them to be more consecrated—i.e., “sold out”—to God than we ever were.
We should also note David asked the Lord to “GIVE Solomon a perfect heart.” Thus, it’s clear such a heart is a “gift from God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation and sanctification are both “gifts of Grace”—for one saves us and the other transforms us. Always remember: “It is God Who works in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). Not only does He “work” in us, He also “wills” us to do it, i.e., plants the desire within us and then gives us the Grace to “delight in Him and His plan” (Ps. 37:4).
Likewise, in his prayer David acknowledged that all gifts come from God (vv.11-14). And, it is God’s condescending Love and Invitation that enables us to “offer so willingly” the labors of our hands (vv.14, 17). Thus, it follows that he’d pray—as a father and spiritual mentor—that Solomon would also “keep God’s commandments, testimonies and statutes” because of a willing, spiritually-mature heart. And, in so doing, he’d “build the Temple for which David had made provisions” (v.19c).
Oh, dear Pilgrim, “every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). He wants us to have “a perfect heart”. . .a heart like His. . .for this will glorify Him in the most effective way. So, let us not rest until that happens; then, we’ll know He’s pleased and others are being drawn to Him through us.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 7, 2009