Passing the baton.
King David was a man of bloodshed; though he loved God with all his heart. His son Solomon was chosen by God even before birth to be David’s successor on the throne. God said that Solomon would be a man of rest. At age 18 Solomon became coregent with David, indicating the trust that David had in God’s word that Solomon would build this house of worship. David knew that Solomon needed supernatural direction, and told his son, “God will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.”
In David’s prayer of praise to God, he says what Solomon seems to have echoed in his writings on the vanity of this earthly life (see Ecclesiastes). David prays, “For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; Our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope,” (I Chr. 29:15). Our life on earth is as a shadow of the spiritual life we can only experience when we awake to the knowledge of God’s sovereign care and blessing through Christ Jesus
This theme of living an earthly life giving way to a spiritual life is the most important concept that Paul passed on to the church, specifically written in a letter to the Corinthians. He spoke sharply to them to remember that there is a resurrection of the dead. “What you sow is not made alive unless it dies,” I Corinthians 15:37; and “It [the body] is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body (I Cor. 15:44). We are in this space and time, mortals alive and running towards a point in which we let go of earthly matters; yet at that same time will take hold of heavenly mysteries.
It isn’t easy to prepare for this run, but like Solomon received encouragement from David, we have many before us who have laid the foundation for our faith. Perhaps godly parents who exemplified a steadfast faith in God, or maybe a church home where the Word was preached, or even through overcoming the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of living in poverty, or with abuse, with disabilities, or in addiction. However we learn to walk amidst the ungodliness of the world and confront the automatic negative thoughts and actions of our own sinful nature, the assurance from God is that we do not labor in vain on this earth. Rather we run in such a way as to win the prize of living forever with Christ Jesus. So I run with anticipation that though our bodies may die on this earth or be changed in the twinkling of an eye at the resurrection, in that passing we will become spiritual bodies that will run eternally with Christ.