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 stricken in years (I Kings 1:1). Just like anyone else, the beloved king became physically 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 said nothing to Solomon about amassing wealth or enlarging his kingdom. Instead, he stressed the true values of living in obedience to the Supreme King of Israel. His last words to Solomon express his heartfelt desire for his son: I go the way of all the earth: be . . . strong therefore, and show yourself a man (stand firm against all pressure to compromise); And keep the charge (requirements) of the LORD your God (2:2-4). Compromise, for us, could include active involvement in secular organizations that rob us of time that could be better invested in Christ-centered goals with the church and other ministries.

 

God had commanded that Israel's king must not cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD has said to you, You shall hereafter return no more that way (Deuteronomy 17:16). Sadly, we read that Solomon's first years as king were occupied in accumulating 40,000 horses for himself (see 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 out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may . . . do (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 to keep all the words of this Law and these statutes (decrees), to do them (17:19) Let us 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).

 

Word Studies:

 

1:2 cherish = be of service as his nurse; 1:6 not displeased = never corrected; 2:6 hoar = gray; 2:17 say thee nay = refuse to grant your request.

 

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. Jesus is God's Anointed One who declared: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me (Luke 4:18). We also have been anointed as His chosen vessels (II Corinthians 1:21).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BP Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Country: Tajikistan (6 million) southeast central Asia · Major languages: Tajik and Russian · Almost entirely Muslim · 82% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord, for He promises to answer you (Zechariah 13:9).

 

Optional Reading: Acts 22

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:17