I read this passage this morning from 1 Chronicles 28:9-10…
And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.
Those three sentences are overflowing with truth, doctrine, and instruction, and are just begging to be unpacked. Knowing God (really knowing him), spiritual wholeness, God’s omniscience (he knows everything, even our thoughts), God’s accessibility (if we seek him we will find him), a warning (forsake him and he will cast us off forever), and God’s sovereignty (he chose Solomon, and everyone else who will ever follow him).
The parallel passage is in 1 Kings 2:2-4, and the Expositor’s Bible Commentary says this about the 1 Kings passage:
There can be no doubt that much of Solomon’s early spiritual vitality and dedication to God may be attributed to David’s deep personal relationship to his Lord and his desire to honor him. Proverbs 4:3-9 indicates that David spent time with Solomon as he was growing up, teaching and admonishing him from the Word of God.
It is clear from 1 Chronicles 22 – 29 that David did everything in his power to smooth the way for Solomon to follow him as king . . . in admonishing and encouraging Solomon to carry out faithfully the task committed to him. In Solomon, David found a responsive and humble heart. Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah, Solomon’s three older brothers, were spiritually and morally deficient; but Solomon had a heart prepared by God, and he responded willingly to David’s instruction.
David’s legacy to Solomon was thus much more than a great kingdom with secure borders, tributary nations, and considerable wealth and prestige. Far more importantly he instilled in Solomon a love for God and his Word. He gave to Solomon a proper orientation to life and leadership and was himself an outstanding role model, despite his failures, of a man whose heart truly beat for God.
A heart truly beating for God. What would it take to have one? At least three things: being physically alive, immersion in the Word of God, and preparation of our hearts by God himself. Being alive is the easy part — we’re already there, but not for long (life is short). The Word of God is very accessible in today’s world (here in America, at least), and we all have time to read it. Whether or not we do is dependent on our own time management . . . and on our desire for it, which ultimately is given to us by God. What can we do about that one? We can “pray our hearts out,” asking him to give us that heart — a heart truly beating for God.