Highlights In Today's Reading:
David becomes old and stricken (feeble) in years (1:1). A few popular leaders with political ambitions and plots seek to usurp the throne. Despite all the scheming, read how the remarkable promise given to Bathsheba concerning Solomon (1:28-30) is fulfilled. Before his death David charges Solomon to walk in all the ways of the Lord.
It was a stunning blow to David when Adonijah, Solomon's older half-brother and the oldest of David's surviving sons, persuaded the two most influential men in Israel to join him and become traitors to David.
Abiathar, the high priest, through whom Adonijah would have religious approval by the people, and the powerful Joab, commander-in-chief of David's army, cooperated with Adonijah in this ruthless conspiracy. This was similar to the situation with David's son Absalom, who decided he should be king.
Presuming that since he was the oldest living son of David this gave him the right to the throne, and disregarding his father's prolonged illness, Adonijah ruthlessy attempted to seize the throne by force. His inaugural feast was a grand and notable day of celebration, climaxed by an intense shout: God save King Adonijah (1:25). How could he not succeed? But God was still Soverign over Israel and retained the unchallengeable right of selecting the one to reign over His people (Deuteronomy 17:14). Solomon had been designated by both Jehovah and David as his successor to the throne as publicly announced.
From a human point of view, all of David's disappointments were a tragedy but, from God's point of view, they were designed to expose the selfish and greedy motives in the hearts of those "loyal" and close friends. They were also a clear revelation of the sovereign hand of God over the practical concerns in everyone's life.
David's last words to Solomon revealed his greatest desire for his son — that he would live to please the Lord. David said nothing to Solomon about gaining material wealth or fame for his kingdom. Instead he stressed be . . . strong therefore, and shew thyself a man (stand firm against all pressure to compromise); And keep the charge (requirements) of the Lord thy God (I Kings 2:2-4). Today compromise for us could include active involvment in secular organizations that rob us of the time that could be invested in Christ-centered goals with the church and other ministries.
It was important that Solomon keep God's Commandments so that he, as well as we, might please God and be an example to his and our children as well as others. David's concern was that he prosper spiritually by living in complete harmony with God's Word.
The truly "blessed" person is promised a fruitful life because his delight is in the Law of the Lord; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night. . . . and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:2-3).
Thought for Today:
Materialism is the most prevalent form of idolatry in our world today. God's Word clearly teaches us not to love this world.
By the oil used to anoint Solomon (I Kings 1:39). Christos (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: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor (needy( (Luke 4:18).
1:2 cherish =be of service as his nurse; 1:6 not displeased =never rebuked or corrected; 2:6 hoar . . . peace =die of old age in peace; 2:17 say thee nay =refuse to grant your request.
Pray for The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Judith Hollingshead; the English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs Mary S Abbott • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Country: Madagascar (15 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique • Major languages: French and Malagasy • Increasingly anti-Christian • 43% witchcraft, ancestor worship, and some astrology; 21% Protestant; 21% Roman Catholic; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who wrong you (Acts 7:59-60).
Optional Reading: Acts 22
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:22