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olympic torch May 17 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 1Chronicles 27:1 - 29:22

Passing the Torch

Church leaders, business leaders, organizational leaders, coaches, and parents need to eventually pass the torch of leadership to the next generation. It is good stewardship, and it is part of a leader's responsibility. Success or failure to do this will be part of one's legacy. For the future health and hope of the organization or home, great care should be taken when passing this torch. Those who do this well will help promote and sustain blessings and prosperity from God that will outlive them. In today's story we learn how King David exercised good stewardship in passing the torch to his son Solomon, and we gain some insight as to how we might do this.

In our chronological Bible studies we have learned that King David had returned to his throne from being exiled. He did not, however, return to a unified nation. Even so, David wanted to honorably begin his rule again by first leading the people to seek God. Then David drew the people together by challenging them to help his young son, Solomon, build a magnificent temple, worthy of their magnificent God. David would not live to see the project through, however, so he passed the torch to Solomon. How did he do it?

First, David protected the people with a strong army. We can show good stewardship by protecting our families or organization from outside invaders which might spoil blessings and prosperity. Satan would like to destroy us, and we must arm ourselves against him with the power of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Do you have God with you to give you spiritual life and protection? (more...)

Second, David shared the general plan of God with the leaders and officials of Israel. He gave them a heads up with what was coming, i.e., the building of the temple. They had already seen preparations being made, so they were not shocked by the announcement. Now, David wanted the leaders to come on board with the project. but first he wanted them to give themselves in wholehearted obedience to God. David said,

“So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever,” (1Chronicles 28:8, NIV).

Do we care about what happens to our descendants or our organization when we leave? If so, we must set the example and elicit faithfulness from our children or people in our organization. They (and we) share personal responsibility in the success or failure of a venture. On a baseball team one might find that the coach can do a fine job preparing the team, teaching them all the fundamentals and giving them a strategy for winning, but it is up to the players to play the game. They (and we) must be faithful to the task and loyal to win.

Third, David shared detailed plans with Solomon, encouraged him to follow God with all his heart, and to do the work assigned to him. Clear job assignments are a must. Leaders need to know the plans in detail, and how they will work. They need to know this so that they can communicate it to others when needed.

Fourth, the aging king enabled the new leadership to have the resources (materials and people) needed to complete the task. If we are going to ask someone else to complete a project we started, we need to fully enable them to do it.

Fifth, David showed his devotion to God and his support for the work by personally investing in it from his own resources. This inspired other leaders to do the same. Then David praised the LORD. He also praised the people for the willingness they showed to give. Do we inspire others by our own commitments? Do we affirm the right choices people make? To do so will encourage them to continue right practices.

Sixth, David gave thanks to the LORD for his blessings, and he prayed for the new leader, Solomon. Then he told the people to join him in giving praise to God. Together they gave praise and many sacrifices to God, together they ate and drank with joy, and together they acknowledged Solomon as king by anointing him before the LORD (1Chronicles 29:22). Finally, the nation was one in heart and purpose. A careful passing of the torch is likely to bring support instead of division.

The torch was successfully passed to Solomon; he had all the support he needed. In tomorrow's lesson we will see how another son of David, Adonijah, tried to mess things up.

Lessons to live by: (concerning Passing the Torch)

    •  We can show good stewardship by protecting our families or organization from outside invaders which might spoil the blessings and prosperity. Satan would like to destroy us, and we must arm ourselves against him.

    •  If we care about what happens to our descendants or our organization after we leave, then we must set the example and elicit faithfulness from our children or the people in our organization. They (and we) share personal responsibility in the success or failure of a venture.

    •  Clear job assignments are a must. Leaders need to know the plans in detail, and how they will work. They need to know this so that they can communicate it to others when needed.

    •  If we are going to ask someone else to complete a project we started, we need to fully enable them to do it.

    •  Do we inspire others by our own commitments? Do we affirm the right choices people make? To do so will encourage them to continue right practices.

    •  A careful passing of the torch is likely to bring support instead of division.

Today’s Bible memory verse:

1Chronicles 29:12 “Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.” (NIV)

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