The Price of Preservation

“The descendants of these servants of King Solomon returned from exile . . . In all, the Temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants numbered 392.” (Ezra 2:55, 58

Two kings, King David and his son King Solomon, while flawed, both felt that preserving God’s Word and the temple of God were critical to the kingdom for generations to come. So much so that they wrote about God’s character and assigned a staff to do so. While we don’t know exactly what all the staff did, we do know that there were 392 temple servants. Solomon and King David also recorded their thoughts in writings and songs. Some of which we now know as Proverbs, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Why? Because these two kings knew without a doubt where their wisdom, blessings, and success came from! Both had thousands of men, women, and children under their rule. Both had countless responsibilities to govern correctly. Each could have used that power to rule as a dictator yet they both sought the ultimate King’s power and authority. The reason is they, like us, wanted to get it right. And similarly, we want the next generation to get it right too! Like David and Solomon, we should be walking records of God’s Word and His will! Like them, we need to learn, teach and pass on what an awesome Father in Heaven we have. 

Solomon and David took this very seriously, so much so that they assigned others to record and protect God’s Word. Why? Because through God’s Word everything was created and is sustained:  “For in Him all things were created:  things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or authorities; all things have been created through Him.  He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.”  (Colossians 1:16). It’s the glue that keeps us together, our families, businesses, and country.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  (Deuteronomy 6:4-9

If you ask men what their goal in life is, many of us may say that it is to provide for our family, have a successful business, and be a good father and friend! All of these are honoring and worthy. The truth is that without God’s Word abiding in us and through us, none of this can exist. Yes, successful businesses and families can exist but it will only produce earthly fruit rather than eternal fruit.  Jesus said, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.’  (John 15:4

“He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”  (Micah 6:8

Without God’s Word, our families are subject and vulnerable to the lies of the enemy. “Now the serpent was more crafty and subtle than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God (really) say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  (Genesis 3:1

Included in our Lord’s commands is that we show others the Truth.  “In the same way your light must shine before people so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)   

So, how important is it to you? Based on my current, very conservative calculations in today’s dollars, David and Solomon may have spent in excess of ten million dollars annually to record and preserve God’s Word, and this doesn’t include the time spent in personal prayer and writing.  These 2900 years later, we still read about God’s wisdom in the book of Proverbs. Again, why? Because two men decided it was important! Two flawed men, I might add, read, wrote, financed, and taught God’s Word both to their children and the generations to come. “Why?” you may ask. Because they knew that they, and others, could not bear real fruit without it.   “Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the Vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  (John 15:4 NIV

Through God’s Word all things were created and all things are held together. By leaving His Word with us we have a road map that helps us to navigate through life’s obstacles and gets us to our destination. Without it people, kingdoms and countries fall apart. As men, we should consider the time and cost that king David and Solomon spent learning, teaching and preserving the glue that holds everything together. We not only become a benefactor but many generations to come are blessed. Two kings prospered under God’s Word! Yet many kingdoms have fallen without it! We need it, our families need it and our country needs it. But it starts with us! 

RTM, Stephen L. Thomas