April 21

Read I Kings 1 -- 2:25

In Today's Reading:

David's son, Adonijah, revolts; Joab defects; Abiathar defects; King David charges Solomon to be obedient to God's word

As we grow old, all of us want to remain useful; but increasing age continues to diminish our strength and narrow our options. Now King David was old and getting on in years (I Kings 1:1). Just like everyone else, the beloved king became feeble. But his spiritual insight had grown even stronger. Spiritual alertness is maintained as we continue to take in and share God's word with others.

David's last words to Solomon express his heartfelt desire for his son: As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth. Now be strong, be a man (stand firm against all pressure to compromise), and keep your obligation to the LORD (2:2-4). Compromise for us could include active involvement in secular organizations that rob us of time that could be invested in Christ-centered goals with the church and other ministries. These goals include influencing friends, neighbors, business associates, and others to give priority to eternal values. David said nothing to Solomon about amassing wealth or enlarging his kingdom. Instead, he stressed the true, lasting values of living in obedience to the one true King of Israel.

Solomon was probably 20 years of age when he became King of Israel. God had commanded that Israel's kingmust not make the people return to Egypt in order to acquire large numbers of horses, seeing that the LORD has told you, You will never go back that way again (Deuteronomy 17:16). But, sadly, Solomon ignored God's word and his first years as king were occupied in accumulating 40,000 horses for himself (I Kings 4:26).

God had also commanded all the kings to intimately know His word: He must write a copy of this law for himself on a scroll like . . . the Levitical priests.It will remain with him, and he will read from it all the days of his life, in order that he may . . . (follow) them (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). The division and eventual destruction of the kingdom of Israel can be attributed to the sins of Solomon. He failed in observing all the requirements of this law . . . and following them (17:19). Let us not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (II Corinthians 4:18).

Christ Revealed:

By the oil used to anoint Solomon (I Kings 1:39). Christ (Greek) and Messiah (Hebrew) mean "The Anointed One." Oil, symbolic of the Holy Spirit, was poured out upon those chosen by God for special service. Not only is Jesus God's Anointed One: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me (Luke 4:18), but we also have been anointed as His chosen vessels (II Corinthians 1:21).

Prayer Needs:

Country: Andorra (66,000) in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain · Major languages: Catalan and French · Religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; .6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Give praise to God that His word will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).

Optional Reading: Acts 22

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:165