Today's devotion from 1 Kings 2.
1 Kings 2 records David's inauspicious death. But before he passed, he had a few words of instruction for his son, Solomon. It becomes apparent that David had many axes to grind. He warned Solomon of Joab's treachery and of Shimei's cursing. He reminded him of the kindness shown to him at the hand of Barzillai, and encouraged him to return that kindness upon the man's sons.
Immediately upon David's passing, Adonijah sought to undermine his brother, and was met with swift judgment. Abiathar was disposed from the priesthood. Hearing of all this, Joab fled to the altar, but was not spared. Finally, Shimei, sentenced to house arrest, broke the terms of his sentence and was executed. Now, Solomon's reign was solidified, David's enemies were punished, and God's prophetic word was kept.
It would be hard to be a king, but even harder to be the king to follow David. If these first acts are any indication, Solomon was in a very precarious situation. This is why David's instructions were so important. As almost every father, David wanted to see his son succeed. Therefore, he offered wisdom and guidance. He pointed out pitfalls and obstacles. I know that, as I have grown older, I have realized how much I should have listened to my own parents.
But the greatest advice David gave to Solomon was contained in his first words: Be strong, and show yourself a man, ad keep the charge of the Lord your God. Of particular importance was the identification of God as Solomon's God, not David's. This wise and loving father's admonishment for his son was, first and foremost, not encouragement to yield his power well, or expand the kingdom, or to amass wealth. No. David on his deathbed realized what so many do when they come to the end of their lives. Money, fame, and power are inconsequential when one stands on the threshold of eternity.
True. David's word carry the implication of blessing through keeping the covenant of God. However, the heart of these words pulses with the ideas of faithful obedience and disciplined dependence. How could Solomon rule well? How could He show himself a man? How could he be strong? These were possible only in cloning to the promise God had made.