The King's Last Words
Father, I want to leave a legacy that matters for eternity. Help me to build faithfully day by day.
Read 1 Kings 2:1-12
 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.  “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man,  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  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.’  “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.  Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.  “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.  “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.’  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.”  Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.  He had reigned forty years over Israel-seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem.  So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat kind of last words do you wish to leave?
Now that the succession has been clearly established, David can die in peace. But before he does, he gives his son and heir some advice.Decidedly mixed advice it is! First of all, in words reminiscent of the Lord’s words to Joshua when he took over from Moses (Josh. 1:6-9), David tells Solomon, “Be strong, [and] show yourself a man” (2, ESV). To that he adds the even more important command to obey the Lord and trust his promises. There could be no better advice for Solomon as he prepares to take on all the responsibilities of kingship. Yet, what follows is rather different. David recognizes Solomon’s innate wisdom (6,9) and urges him to use it to eliminate two potential and powerful rivals, Joab and Shimei, which indeed Solomon does in the rest of the chapter. Joab and Shimei were not without guilt, but it had been David’s responsibility to deal with them while he was still king. Is David using his son to do his dirty work for him?
Compare David’s last words and Jesus’ last words. Write about the significance.
Lord of life, wake me up to your purposes and to my destiny in You. Help me to say yes in the small and in the big.
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