“Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.””
1 Chronicles 28:10 ESV
““All this he made clear to me in writing from the hand of the Lord, all the work to be done according to the plan.” Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.”
1 Chronicles 28:19-20 ESV
You’ve probably been there. It is your first day as a project manager. Or as the chair for a long-range planning committee. Or the bride who has just said yes to the dress. Or the coordinator for a mission trip. And you’ve got this huge, overwhelming assignment out in front of you. Maybe you’ve got a year to complete it. Maybe you’ve got six months or less.
At some point, you will begin to get overwhelmed by the details and deadlines and to do lists. You begin to wonder if you can do this. You begin to think about that old cliche about how to eat an elephant, and you realize it’s not about eating an elephant; it’s about deciding which elephant to eat.
In other words, analysis paralysis sets in.
Solomon had to have felt some of that as he pondered the job his father David had given him to do in building the temple. Was he up for the job? Did he have what it took to accomplish the task?
If you’ve ever been in a situation like this, then here are a few details about Solomon’s task that will encourage you for your task.
1. Solomon was chosen for this, and so are you.
1 Chronicles 28 tells us that not only had God chosen Solomon to build his house, but also why. David had wanted to be the one, but God told him “no,” because he was a man of war and had shed blood (1 Chron 28:3). In contrast, Solomon was a man of peace (his name in Hebrew, was literally “Shalom-man”). This was both a question of holiness as well as a practical issue. In order for the work of the temple to be completed, there would need to be a time of peace and stability, where both financial resources and focus could be directed toward the project. That was not possible in David’s lifetime.
2. Solomon was not reinventing the wheel, and neither are you.
David had done a tremendous amount of work ahead of time before he handed it over to Solomon. In 28:11-19, you see David giving all the blueprints to Solomon. On top of that, Solomon had the assurance that it wasn’t just David that had dreamed it all up: “All this he made clear to me in writing from the hand of the Lord.” God, the Chief Architect Himself, had signed off on these plans.
Whether your task is coaching your son’s soccer team, planning your daughter’s wedding, or overseeing the plan for a new sanctuary for your grandchildren, other people have done this before. The internet is full of their pro-tips. Don’t feel like you have to come up with everything from scratch by yourself. You are standing on the shoulders of giants.
3. God was with Solomon, and He is with you.
If you have been following the reading plan from the beginning of the year, David’s words to Solomon in 28:19-20 should sound very familiar. God told Joshua almost the exact same thing in Joshua 1. Like Solomon, Joshua was taking over for a legendary leader (Moses). Like Solomon, Joshua had a monumental task in front of him (leading God’s people into the Promised Land). So Joshua was given the same encouragement Solomon would get over 500 years later:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
Beloved, listen: If God intends for this task to be accomplished, it will be, and you get to be a part of it. If God does not intend for it to be accomplished, He will let you know, and you can (and must) back out of it. But God’s purposes will stand. He will accomplish all he sets out to do. And there is a part of the task he has chosen you to lead. So don’t fall prey to analysis paralysis. As David said to his son, “Be strong and do it.”