When David’s time to die drew near, he charged his son Solomon, saying: “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. Then the LORD will establish his word that he spoke concerning me: ‘If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’ – 1 Kings 2:1-4 (NRSV)
The interesting about last words is that they are rarely the first words. Last words are often a summation of many words that have come before, and that is very much the case with David’s speech above. This is certainly not the first time that David has exhorted his son to be strong, courageous and obey God. This was not the only time the King of Israel espoused adherence to the laws and commands of God and reminded his audience of God’s promise to him concerning his heirs. David had visited these words before with his family and friends and subjects – they were the summation of his legacy.
A legacy cannot be calculated or quantified. It is not something deposited or invested or inherited. A legacy is the life that is lived with others; a product of our actions and words over the course of time. It is not the summation of our life, but life itself. The question for us is, what will our legacy look like to our children when we are gone? If today was the day you went to be with the Lord, would your life say, “Be strong, be courageous and keep the charge of the LORD your God” or not?
Every day is an opportunity for us to add to our legacy for our children. We are given chances to be the people God called us to be and it is our privilege and responsibility to meet Him in those moments with humility and obedience. This is the legacy I want to leave for my children: a life worth emulating.
Lord, help me to live a life that will be a worthy legacy for my children. Keep me mindful of the call You have put on my life so I do not stray to the right or to the left. Give me reminders each day to be strong, be courageous and keep the charge you have placed on my life. Amen.