Haftarah-Vayechi-Reading the Text
When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, become a man, and observe what God your Lord requires: Walk in His ways, and guard preciously His decrees and commands, His laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moshe. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go, and that God may keep His promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ (I Kings 2:1-4)”
In, “Be a Man,” and “The Power of Softness,” we spoke of fathers addressing children in positions of power about remaining connected to “normal” life. When we carefully examine David’s final words to Solomon, we find that it is more than urging the young king to retain his “normalcy.” David is actually addressing balance:
“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” I am just as are all the people of the earth. David speaks of himself as just another man even as he says that God promised him, “you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.” David is speaking to Solomon as a link in an eternal chain. (“Strength from Brokenness”) David’s greatness, the message he is conveying to Solomon in these words, is his ability to balance his power as King, the first link in an eternal chain with his basic humanity.
I suspect that it is only with this sense of balance that a king will be able to remember to “Walk in His ways, and guard preciously His decrees and commands.” David is not saying, “Do this,” referring to obedience, but, “Do this,” to live with this sense of balance.
This message of balance becomes even more essential as David continues his final instructions to Solomon.