April 21

Read I Kings 1 -- 2:25

As we grow old, all of us want to remain useful; but increasing age continues to diminish our strength and narrow our options. David was old and stricken in years (I Kings 1:1). Just like everyone else, the giant-killer, hero and great Psalmist musician eventually became feeble. Although King David was physically limited, his spiritual insight had grown stronger. Spiritual alertness is maintained as we continue to take in and share God's Word with others. Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (II Corinthians 4:16).

David's last words to Solomon express his greatest heartfelt desire for his son: Be strong . . . and show yourself a man; And keep the charge of the Lord your 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 you may prosper (do wisely) . . . That the Lord may continue His Word which He spoke concerning me, saying, If your 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 you (said He) a man on the throne of Israel (I Kings 2:2-4). David said nothing to Solomon about amassing wealth or enlarging his kingdom. Instead, he stressed true values of living in obedience to the One True King of Israel's statutes, commandments, judgments, and testimonies.

Having been born to Bathsheba about the middle of Davids 40-year reign, Solomon was probably 20 years of age when he became King of Israel. God had commanded that Israels king shall not multiply horses to himself (Deuteronomy 17:16). But, sadly, Solomon ignored Gods 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 shall write him a copy of this Law in a book. . . . And he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this Law . . . to do them . . . that he turn not aside from the commandment (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). All of the sins of Solomon, along with the division and eventual destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, can be accounted for by his failure to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this Law and . . . to do them.

To show yourself a man means to stand firm against all pressure to compromise or lower the biblical standards of right and wrong. Compromise 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. They need to be reminded to repent of their sins, to trust Christ as Savior, to be baptized as He taught, and to become active in the church.

As the children of God look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (II Corinthians 4:18).

Christ Portrayed: 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. Jesus is not only Gods Anointed One (Luke 4:18), but we also have been anointed as His chosen vessels (II Corinthians 1:21).

Word Studies: 1:2 cherish means attend, be of service as his nurse; 1:6 not displeased means never rebuked or corrected; 1:40 pipes means flutes; 1:42 valiant means honorable; 2:6 hoar means gray; 2:17 say thee nay means refuse to grant your request.

Prayer:

Government Official: Rep. Gary Condit (CA) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KRIO-AM, Edinburg, TX · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Linda Kennon · Country: Ecuador (13 million) in South America, crossed by the equator · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for boldness in telling others about the Lord (Psalms 119:46).

Optional Reading: Acts 22

Memory Verse for the Week: I John 1:9