The Pathway Forward –


As King David lays on his deathbed, the seventy-year-old King maps out a pathway forward for Solomon to follow. David tells Solomon to do three things: be strong, be courageous and be faithful. This is after the King gives young Solomon a “Hit list” of two people to kill, because he believed they would cause the young king trouble and prevent him from ushering in a kingdom of peace.

I spoke with a man and a woman this week about creating a “Pathway to success.” What I mean by a “Pathway to success” is to take a step back and pause long enough to reflect upon the current direction of their lives and ask, “What do I need to put my life on a positive path?” I realize this is not easy, particularly when a person has made poor choices, but to me this is a major step in personal transformation.

In starting the process of thinking through a “Pathway of success” I would try to answer the following questions:

What are my strengths and weaknesses? What is holding your back? Who do I need to cut loose from my life? What do I need to add to my life? How do I make the change a reality?

David tells Solomon to be strong. To “Be strong” is much more than physical strength. Physical strength must be matched with emotional and spiritual strength. Emotional weakness can undermine physical strength. Emotional strength is undergirded by our spiritual strength.

David also tells Solomon to “Be courageous.” When I think of courage, the willingness to take a risk for something or someone you believe in his critical. The willingness to extend oneself for a goal or principal that is greater than our personal desire is major. Martin Luther King and the people who supported him in the Civil Rights Movement were willing to put their lives at risk for the greater goal of freedom and equality for all. Dr. King taught that “A person is not fit to live unless they have found something they are willing to die for.” Jesus said it like this: John 15: 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends[1]

The third part of the charge of David to Solomon is that he would be faithful in keeping the laws of God. A life without faith is not much of a life. A life guided by faith can move mountains, tear down walls of injustice and transform a life of poverty, waste and squander into a life that is abundant, meaningful and fulfilling.

My encouragement to you today is that you might try to incorporate the charge of David to Solomon as guiding principles in your life – be strong, be courageous and be faithful.


1 Kings 2 When David’s time to die drew near, he charged his son Solomon, saying: “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.[2]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are the similarities between the “Pathway forward” David tells Solomon and the promise of God to Joshua in Joshua 1?
  2. Why do you think David tells Solomon to be strong and courageous before faithfulness to God?


Prayer: Lord, I come to you today with a prayer to be strong, courageous and faithful. Help me to strengthen myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Grant me courage as I represent you on the battlefield for justice and equality. Lord, grant me faith to move mountains. Help me to read your word, understand your word and live your word. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Jn 15:12–13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ki 2:1–3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.