Morning Light – July 16th, 2015
Today: [1 Kings Chapter Two]: The Establishing of Solomon’s Kingdom. In this chapter we witness the death of David and the beginning of Solomon’s reign. In David’s final words to Solomon he at last instructs that Joab be dealt with for all his treacheries. David’s last thoughts are of Shimei who cast stones at him and cursed him with great curses when he fled the city of Jerusalem after Absalom took the throne. In the midst of this Adonijah seeks to deceive Bathsheba to convince Solomon to give him Abishag to wife. Solomon sees this as a ruse to take the throne as Absalom did and has Adonijah put to death.
[1Ki 2:1-46 KJV] 1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; 3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: 4 That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel. 5 Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, [and] what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that [was] about his loins, and in his shoes that [were] on his feet. 6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace. 7 But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother. 8 And, behold, [thou hast] with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. 9 Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou [art] a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood. 10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. 11 And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem. 12 Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.
David knows that he is drawing his last breaths and therefore calls Solomon to him for final instructions. In his exhortation he defines what it is to be strong as a man by keeping the charge of the Lord. The word charge here is defined as “confining oneself to duty…” In that choice of words David makes an oblique reference to the times in David’s own life when he strayed from his duties to his own hurt and that of the entire nation.
David tells Solomon to keep the charge of the Lord on several levels. These words are not just synonymous to the same word of God but call for a comprehensive response to the whole counsel of God and not just one narrow interpretation.
- Walk in God’s ways: Def: “to trod, to string a bow”. A bow without a string is no defense. We are to adopt God’s ways as a defense against the assault of the enemy.
Keep his Statutes: Def: “custom or manner”. This speaks of the application of God’s word from the examples given such as the histories that we are studying right now. There are many men Solomon can learn from by God’s blessing on their life. David is urging his son to follow these examples such as Joseph, Joshua, Gideon, etc. all whose stories were available to Solomon to learn from.
Commandments: Def: “command, commission or order”. There were many orders given specifically for kings that Solomon could refer to from the time of Moses. David is placing expectation upon his son to search these out even though there is no record that David himself did so.
Judgments: Def: “Verdict”. There are some things that do not have to be thought through time and time again. Once God has spoken for instance in the ten commandments we do not have to time and again address these matters again.
Testimonies: Def: “Witness”. Through his rule David relied upon the witness of the prophets and the testimony of the Urim and the Thummim. There are many decisions we will make that don’t have direct answers in the bible but we can rely on the witness of the Spirit of God that the bible itself refers to IF we will study the scriptures to be familiar with it’s testimony.
13 And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably. 14 He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on. 15 And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and [that] all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother’s: for it was his from the LORD. 16 And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on. 17 And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife. 18 And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king. 19 Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand. 20 Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; [I pray thee], say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay. 21 And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife. 22 And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he [is] mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. 23 Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life. 24 Now therefore, [as] the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day. 25 And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died. 26 And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou [art] worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted. 27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. 28 Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 29 And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, [he is] by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him. 30 And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me. 31 And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father. 32 And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing [thereof, to wit], Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah. 33 Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD. 34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
David deals with Adonijah, Abiathar and Joab. Adonijah is Absalom’s younger brother who has attempted to take the throne while David still lives. David defeats this by declaring Solomon king and Adonijah begs for his life. Solomon pardons Adonijah but now he asks Bathsheba to convince Solomon to give Abishag to be his wife. Notice the contempt with which Adonijah speaks to Bathsheba – suggesting that he was the real king and that Solomon owed him this favor. Upon hearing of this Solomon orders Adonijah put to death. He also orders that Abiathar the High Priest who followed Adonijah to be banished from Jerusalem for rebelling against king David.
Finally Solomon turns to Joab who as Adonijah did in the beginning takes refuge in the temple and takes hold of the horns of the brazen altar. The picture here is an admission of guilt but a plea for clemency. In this case however it is a futile attempt and Solomon orders Benaiah one of David’s top three mighty men to fall on Joab there and bring the career of this nefarious military man to it’s just end.
35 And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar. 36 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither. 37 For it shall be, [that] on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head. 38 And Shimei said unto the king, The saying [is] good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days. 39 And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants [be] in Gath. 40 And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath. 41 And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again. 42 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word [that] I have heard [is] good. 43 Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with? 44 The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head; 45 And king Solomon [shall be] blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever. 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
Lastly David had ordered that Shimei be put to death. Solomon initially extends clemency to Shimei. The reason for this could have been the fact that Shimei had refused to join Adonijah when he proclaimed himself king contrary to David’s wishes. Solomon instructs Shimei to build himself a house within the limits of Jerusalem and never to leave the city on pain of death. Shimei agrees to this but then at a later date breaks his word when pursuing after a runaway slave. In doing this seminar reveals is hidden disdain for the line of David and Solomon the current king. Therefore Solomon orders the death of Shimei. After dealing with these three troublesome remnants from David’s reign we see the commentary of the writer of first Kings considering this purging of the court to be the establishing of the kingdom firmly under the hand of the young King Solomon.
In your lifetime you will learn that the promises of God to you will at times go on established until you deal with the contaminating influence of ungodly relationships. Do you have a Shimei, or an Abiathar, or a Joab in your life? Each of these men for different reasons were entrenched in David’s life and very difficult to deal with. Each made himself valuable to David went under scrutiny but then criticized and worked against David behind his back. And David decades before been bold and decisive enough to deal with these men the closing years of his reign might have been of a very different character. Likewise the changing of your destiny that you may be seeking the Lord for may indeed hinge on you having the courage to make difficult decisions and thrusting out from your life these corrupt relationships.
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