2 Chronicles 1:1
And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.…
It is far from being everything when we make a good beginning; for many a bright beginning has a very dark ending. Yet is it a very great advantage to start well on our course. Few men ever commenced their career under more favourable auspices than did King Solomon, when "he sat on the throne of the Lord as king, instead of David his father" (1 Chronicles 29:23). He had much to sustain and to encourage him.
I. THE HERITAGE HE HAD FROM HIS FATHER. It was much to him that he was "Solomon, the son of David. He was known to be the favourite son and chosen heir of his illustrious father. All the strong attachment which the people felt for the late (or the dying) sovereign went to establish his son upon the throne. Solomon acceded to the gathering and deepening affection which his father David had been winning to himself through a long and prosperous reign. All the influence which an honoured and beloved leader can convey to his successor was communicated to him: thus was he strengthened in the kingdom."
II. CONSIDERABLE PERSONAL ADVANTAGES. "The Lord magnified him exceedingly." Taking this with the same expression (and the words that accompany it) in 1 Chronicles 29:25, we may safely infer that God had given him:
1. A noble and commanding presence, such as attracts and affects those who behold it (see Psalm 45:2).
2. A winning address, a bearing and demeanour which drew men to him and called forth their good will.
3. A mind of unusual capacity, an intellectual superiority that enabled him to acquit himself honourably in private and in public affairs. Thus was he "magnified exceedingly;" he was held in high honour, was "made great" in the estimation of all the people.
III. THE FAVOURING PRESENCE OF GOD. "The Lord his God was with him." How much is held and hidden in that simple phrase," God was with him" (see Genesis 21:22; Genesis 39:2; 1 Samuel 18:14)! It meant that God was with him to shield him from harm, to direct him in difficulty, to inspire him with wisdom, to sustain him in trial, to enrich him with every needful good. God was attending his steps and "laying his hand upon him." We may say that this was not only a bright, but even a brilliant, beginning of the king's career. We cannot hope for a commencement like that; that is only granted to the few, to the very few indeed. This is true, but it is also true that to most if not to all men, certainly to those of us who have a knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, there is possible a bright beginning of active life. In all or nearly all cases there is:
1. A heritage from those who have gone before us. From our parents, from our forefathers, from the toil and struggle and suffering of our race, there comes to us a heritage of good. This may be material wealth; or, if not that, knowledge, truth, wisdom, precious thought in striking and powerful language, inspiring examples of heroic deeds and noble lives. If not sons of such fathers as David, we are the children of privilege, we are "the heirs of all the ages."
2. Some personal advantages; either in bodily skill, or in address, or in mental equipment, or in strength of will, or in force of character.
3. God's gracious and favouring presence. For if we are "reconciled to him by the death of his Son," we may most surely count on the promise that he will be "with us;" with us not only to observe our course and mark our life, but to direct our ways, to "strengthen" us in our sphere, however humble our kingdom may be - to make our life fruitful of good and blessing, to enrich us with much pure and elevating joy, to guide us to the goal and to the prize. Let us but yield ourselves to him whose we are, and to that service where our freedom and our duty alike are found, and ours will be a bright beginning that shall have promise of a still fairer and brighter ending. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.