Heavenly Father, grant me the wisdom to rightly discern Your Word today.
Read 1 Kings 2:1–12
David’s Charge to Solomon
2 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.
2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go 4 and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’
5 “Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. 6 Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.
7 “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom.
8 “And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will not put you to death by the sword.’ 9 But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.”
10 Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. 11 He had reigned forty years over Israel—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectJust because God’s people advocate certain courses of action, we shouldn’t assume they always get it right.
David gives Solomon two priorities (1–4). This is not standard political fare, is it?! It would be unthinkable to hear politicians today suggest that a leader’s first priority is their relationship with God. Yet this is precisely what matters to David—Solomon is God’s king. The instructions are little different from those for all Old Covenant believers (blessings for faithfulness, Deut. 28:1,2, or curses for unfaithfulness, Deut. 28:15). The difference is Solomon’s responsibility to take the lead in faithfulness. As Israel’s history would repeatedly prove, a king’s unfaithfulness had a devastating effect on the whole nation.
In total contrast, David’s second priority seems entirely predictable in worldly politics, tragically (5–12). But it seems horribly out of place for God’s king. This is where Old Testament foreshadowing of the great King begins to seem very blurry (as the rest of chapter 2 illustrates).
There is a principle at work, though—the protection and solidifying of the king’s rule. It requires great wisdom (9) and strong measures. It is never wise to challenge God’s purposes.
Is your relationship with God first priority in your life, or do other things crowd in? Take time now to sort out your priorities.
Loving God, I don’t always keep my focus where it should be—on You. Please be the center of my life, not just an “add-on.”