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At this David cries out to God, "Was it not I who gave the command to count the people? It is I who have sinned and done very wickedly.
But these sheep, what have they done? Let your hand, I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and against my father's house; but do not let your people be plagued! The text does not give an answer. We can observe, however, that the transgressions of leaders inevitably harm their people.
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If business leaders make poor product development decisions, people in their organization will lose their jobs when revenues plunge. If a teacher gives good grades for poor work, students will fail or fall behind at the next level of education.
Daniel: Prophet of God, Companion of Kings
Those who accept positions of leadership cannot evade responsibility for the effects of their actions on others. They were all under the direction of their father for the music in the house of the Lord with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the order of the king. They and their kindred, who were trained in singing to the Lord, all of whom were skillful, numbered two hundred eighty-eight. Maintaining an ensemble the size of two modern symphony orchestras would be a major undertaking in an emerging nation in the 10 th century BC.
David does not regard it as a luxury however, but as a necessity. In fact, he orders it in his role as commander in chief of the army, with the consent of the other commanders 1 Chron. Many militaries today maintain bands and choruses, but few other kinds of workplaces do, unless they themselves are musical organizations. Yet there is something about music and the other arts that is essential to work of all kinds.
What is the place of beauty in your work? Would you or your organization or the people who make use of your work benefit if your work created more beauty? What does it even mean for work in your occupation to be beautiful? How are we to evaluate David and his reign? It is noteworthy that while Solomon gained more wealth, land, and renown than his father David, it is David whom the books of Kings and Chronicles acclaimed as Israel's greatest king, the model against which all other kings were measured.
Historical chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Church News
We are impressed by his fundamental piety even as we blanch at his political manipulation, lust, and violence. When we see a similar ambivalence in our own hearts and actions, we take comfort and hope in the God who forgives all our sins. Like Saul, David combined greatness and faithfulness, with sin and error.
The same thing is never said of Saul. Or it may be simply because the best way for God to carry out his purposes for his people was to put David on the throne and keep him there. When God calls us to a task or position, it is not necessarily us he is thinking about. He may choose us because of the effect we will have on other people. For example God gave Cyrus of Persia victory over Babylon not to reward or benefit Cyrus, but to free Israel from captivity 2 Chronicles Because David had shed so much blood as king, God determined not to allow him to build a house for the Lord.
So David accepted that his final task was to train Solomon for the job of king 1 Chron. David provided the vast stores of materials for the construction of God's temple in Jerusalem, saying, "My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent" 1 Chron. He publicly passed authority to Solomon and made sure that the leaders of Israel acknowledged Solomon as the new king and were prepared to help him succeed. David recognized that leadership is a responsibility that outlasts one's own career.
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In most cases, your work will continue after you have moved on whether by promotion, retirement, or taking a different job. You have a duty to create the conditions your successor needs to be successful. First, you need to provide the resources your successor needs to complete the tasks you leave unfinished. If you have been at least moderately successful, you will have learned how to gather the resources needed in your position.
Often this depends on relationships that your successor will not immediately inherit. For example, success may depend on assistance from people who do not work in your department, but who have been willing to help you in your work. You need to make sure your successor knows who these people are, and you need to get their commitment to continue helping after you are gone. Second, you need to impart your knowledge and relationships to the person who succeeds you.
In many situations this will come by bringing your successor to work alongside you long before you depart. In other cases, you may not have any role in designating your successor, and you may not have any overlap with him or her. Third, you need to transfer power decisively to the person who takes over the position. Whether you choose your own successor or whether others make that decision without your input, you still have a choice whether or not to publicly acknowledge the transition and definitively pass on the authority you previously had. Your words and actions will confer either a blessing or a curse on your successor.
A recent example is the manipulation that Vladimir Putin engaged in to maintain power after term limitations prevented him from seeking a third consecutive term as President of Russia. In contrast, David arranged for Solomon to be publicly anointed as king, transferred the symbols of monarchy to him, and presented him publicly as the new king while David himself was still living 1 Kings , Upon succeeding David as king, Solomon faces the vastness of his duties 1 Kings He is acutely aware that he is inadequate to the task 1 Chronicles The work with which he is entrusted is immense.
In addition to the temple project, he has a large, complex nation under his care, "a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted" 1 Kings Even as he gains experience on the job, he realizes that it is so complex that he'll never be able to figure out the right course of action in every circumstance. He needs divine help: so he asks God, "Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil, for who can govern this, your great people?
To achieve this architectural feat, Solomon employs professionals from all corners of his kingdom. Three chapters 1 Kings are devoted to describing the work of building the Temple, of which we have space only for a small selection:. He cast two pillars of bronze. Eighteen cubits was the height of the one, and a cord of twelve cubits would encircle it; the second pillar was the same. He also made two capitals of molten bronze, to set on the tops of the pillars; the height of the one capital was five cubits, and the height of the other capital was five cubits.
There were nets of checker work with wreaths of chain work for the capitals on the tops of the pillars; seven for the one capital, and seven for the other capital. So Solomon made all the vessels that were in the house of the Lord: the golden altar, the golden table for the bread of the Presence, the lampstands of pure gold, five on the south side and five on the north, in front of the inner sanctuary; the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs, of gold; the cups, snuffers, basins, dishes for incense, and firepans, of pure gold; the sockets for the doors of the innermost part of the house, the most holy place, and for the doors of the nave of the temple, of gold.
The Schools of the Prophets – their origin and their purpose
Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the Lord was finished. Solomon brought in the things that his father David had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of the Lord. From accomplished professionals to forced laborers, the people of the kingdom contribute their knowledge and skills to help build the Temple.
In so doing, Solomon involves numerous people to help build and sustain his kingdom. The massive national effort needed to construct the Temple leaves Solomon the ruler of a powerful kingdom. During his reign Israel's military and economic might reach their peak, and the kingdom covers more territory than at any other time in Israel's history.
To assemble a large enough labor force, King Solomon conscripts workers out of all Israel. The levy numbers thirty thousand men 1 Kings Solomon seems to have paid Israelites who were conscripted 1 Kings in accordance with Leviticus , which forbids making slaves of Israelites.
But resident aliens are simply enslaved 1 Kings In addition, a multitude of workers are brought in from surrounding nations. Whatever their source, a wide variety of highly skilled professionals comes together, including the best artisans practicing at the time. The books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles—primarily interested in the work of kingship—say little about these workers except as relates to the Temple.
But they are visible in the background, making all of society possible. Solomon sees that as the central government expands, it will need food for an increasingly large work force. Soldiers need rations 1 Kings , alongside the workers on all of Solomon's building projects. The growing bureaucracy also needs to be fed. So the king organizes the nation into twelve sectors and appoints a deputy as overseer of each sector.
Each deputy is charged with providing all required food rations for one month each year. Israel becomes like other kingdoms with forced labor, heavy taxation, and a central elite wielding power over the rest of the country. As Samuel had foretold, kings bring a greatly expanded military 1 Sam. Militarization comes into full flower during Solomon's reign as the military becomes an essential component of the kingdom's stability.
They need protective gear including shields, helmets, and body armor. To manage such a large scale army, a nationalized military organization must be maintained. In contrast to his father, David, Solomon is called "a man of peace," but the peace is ensured by the presence of a well organized and well-provisioned military force. The human capacity to organize work is evidence of our creation in the image of a God who brings order out of chaos on a worldwide scale Genesis 1. These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.