Reading For Friday 1 Kings 2:1-12
David encourages Solomon to be strong and follow after God by obeying his commands. If Solomon were to prosper, it would come about through faithful adherence to the law of Moses. David exhorted the young man to walk before God in truth with all his heart in order to experience the fulfillment of God’s promise of everlasting possession of the throne. There were certain obligations that David had neglected to fulfill or promised to fulfill that the dying king placed upon his son and successor. Solomon would have to deal with Joab, who had gotten away with murder during the reign of David. Solomon was not to allow Joab to go down to Sheol in peace. In other words, he must not be allowed to die a natural death. Solomon would need to act in his wisdom concerning the matter or a rebellion in the ranks of the army could occur. The situation is completely different with the sons of Barzillai. David owed this family a debt of gratitude dating back to the days when he fled from Absalom. Barzillai the Gileadite had brought David much needed supplies during those dark days. David encouraged Solomon to allow this family to be included among those who ate at his table with a perpetual food allowance. Shimei the Benjamite had cursed David in the hour of his humiliation by Absalom. Cursing the king was a capital crime, but when David was restored to his throne, he pledged that he would not execute Shimei. Solomon, however, was not bound by the oath of his father, and he needed to realize that a man like this could not be trusted. The morality of David’s instruction concerning Shimei and Joab seems questionable. These points, however, must be observed. However, no hint of malice or vindictiveness is evident in the passage, and it would appear that what was uppermost in David’s mind was strict observance of the law of God. That would include the execution of the murderer and the blasphemer. In these instructions, David is implicitly admitting to failure on his part. Shortly after David’s final instructions to Solomon, the elderly king and father died. David was buried in the City of David and his sepulcher still existed in the time of Christ (Acts 2:29). David’s reign lasted forty years. He had reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
Things To Consider:
- Everyone copes with death differently. How does David address it with his son Solomon? Do you think it was effective?
- Should we think about death? Why?
- Why do you think David reminded Solomon to follow God's ways and commands?
- Why do you think David gave some difficult tasks to the new king?
- Why is David such an important figure in the Old Testament?
- Why is it important to know that Solomon's kingdom was firmly established?