Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 2:13-46; 1 Kings 3:1-3; 1 Kings 3:5-28; 1 Kings 9:16; 2 Chronicles 1:2-6
This section called “Solomon secures his kingship” begins with Adonijah boldly using Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, to ask for Abishag, who was the beautiful woman who cared for David at the end of his life. However Solomon interprets this to be another attempt to mislead Israel, that he, Adonijah, might have been the chosen one to be king after David. Therefore judgment is executed on him because Solomon was the true successor chosen by both God and David. It reminds me of how scheming I can be sometimes to bring about what I so selfishly want. I need to remember that I can’t schemely trick God or take Him by surprise!
Abiathar is then removed from being priest. It is interesting that Solomon takes into consideration that “Abiather had carried the ark of God, the Sovereign Lord, before his father, David, and shared all of his father’s hardships!” On the other hand Scripture tells me that what Solomon did was fulfilling His word to Eli for his unfaithfulness to God in family matters. Somehow, God’s justice seems to me to be so complete, because He is so perfect, that sometimes I am reminded that God is never unjust in what He does. And if I do not understand why He does things (or allows things to happen!), I like to remind myself that because He is so great and perfect, He sees all and knows all and has probably taken into consideration some things, that this side of Heaven, I will never understand because my mind is too small (or knowing His unfailing love, He hasn’t told me because maybe it would be too hurtful for me to know!). And so I encourage myself to just trust my loving Father in so many things which I don’t understand.
And as is the case above, but more clear, the judgment which comes on Joab, although faithful to David, most of his life, is both just and deserved. Interesting that Solomon considers that in putting Joab to death, he is clearing himself and his father’s house of deeds done in their name unknowingly which would seem to bring about guilt on them. I find a peculiar sense of justice that this man who had shed so much blood, should be buried in his own land in the DESERT! God is so great and awesome, that Paul’s words strike an echo in my heart, “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Romans 11:33).
And scheming Simei, is tempted by his own sense of personal rights as a master, to go after and recover 2 slaves. However in doing this, he breaks his parole, and so loses his life over the need to recover only 2 slaves! Did he, like me sometimes, think that Solomon in his case or God in my case, won’t know about what he was doing? Were 2 slaves, really worth losing his life over? And so in my case, I cringe to realize in the end of being tempted, for how “little” I have been tempted to break my fellowship with a loving Father!
And the summary says that the kingdom was now firmly established in Solomon’s hands. So then why is Solomon marrying Pharaoh’s daughter? By all means a very smart POLITICAL move. But my relationship with God is not about POLITICAL moves! And God had warned that the king was not to married foreign women because they would cause the king to go after other gods. Maybe not yet, but in the end it was true. I guess we are never smarter than God, so I remind myself to be careful of my choices. And it is the fear (or respect) of the Lord which is my true wisdom in choices.
But it is Solomon’s choice of wisdom, more than any other goals in life, which pleases God and causes God to bless him beyond any other person (at least blessed in material things) The reason Solomon chooses wisdom, I covet for myself! He chooses wisdom from God because he knows that without it, he can not hope to fulfill God’s will in his life! The cry of his heart is for “a discerning heart!” And so when tested by the two prostitutes, he certainly has his discerning heart working to make the right choice! And the result, stability in his kingdom as he cares for “GOD’S people, not HIS!
May we use the heart God has given you and I today in life, described in 2 Timothy 1:7.