1 Kings 1:1-30; 2:1-10
For Reflection: David gives Solomon critical insight for receiving God’s blessing and prospering.
If your time to “sleep with your fathers” was near, what important spiritual guidance would you want to give?
To whom would you give this guidance?
Since you don’t know when your last day will be, when should you share your insight with those you want to hear it?
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The Struggle for the Succession
1 King David was old and advanced in years, and although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. 2 So his servants said to him, “Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be his attendant; let her lie in your bosom, so that my lord the king may be warm.” 3 So they searched for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel and found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king. 4 The young woman was very beautiful. She became the king’s attendant and served him, but the king did not know her sexually.
5 Now Adonijah son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” He prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 His father had never at any time reprimanded him by asking, “Why have you done thus and so?” He was also a very handsome man, and he was born next after Absalom. 7 He conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with the priest Abiathar, and they supported Adonijah. 8 But the priest Zadok, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the prophet Nathan, and Shammah[a] and his companions,[b] David’s own warriors, did not side with Adonijah.
9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fatted cattle by the stone Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10 but he did not invite the prophet Nathan or Benaiah or the warriors or his brother Solomon.
11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Have you not heard that Adonijah son of Haggith has become king and our lord David does not know it? 12 Now therefore come, let me give you advice, so that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go in at once to King David and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your servant, saying, “Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne? Why then is Adonijah king?” ’ 14 Then while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”
15 So Bathsheba went to the king in his room. The king was very old; Abishag the Shunammite was attending the king. 16 Bathsheba bowed and did obeisance to the king, and the king said, “What do you wish?” 17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying, ‘Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 But now suddenly Adonijah has become king, though you, my lord the king, do not know it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen, fatted cattle, and sheep in abundance and has invited all the children of the king, the priest Abiathar, and Joab the commander of the army, but your servant Solomon he has not invited. 20 But you, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king sleeps with his ancestors, that my son Solomon and I will be counted offenders.”
22 While she was still speaking with the king, the prophet Nathan came in. 23 The king was told, “Here is the prophet Nathan.” When he came in before the king, he did obeisance to the king, with his face to the ground. 24 Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 For today he has gone down and has sacrificed oxen, fatted cattle, and sheep in abundance and has invited all the king’s children, Joab the commander[c] of the army, and the priest Abiathar, who are now eating and drinking before him, and saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But he did not invite me, your servant, and the priest Zadok, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon. 27 Has this thing been brought about by my lord the king and you have not let your servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”
The Accession of Solomon
28 King David answered, “Summon Bathsheba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29 The king swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has saved my life from every adversity, 30 as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so will I do this day.”
David’s Instruction to Solomon
2 When David’s time to die drew near, he charged his son Solomon, saying: 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous, 3 and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. 4 Then the Lord will establish his word that he spoke concerning me: ‘If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’
5 “Moreover, you know also what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether, whom he murdered, retaliating in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war and putting innocent blood[a] on the belt around my[b] waist and on the sandals on my[c] feet. 6 Act, therefore, according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7 Deal loyally, however, with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from your brother Absalom. 8 There is also with you Shimei son of Gera, a Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a terrible curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim, but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9 Therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; you will know what you ought to do to him, and you must bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”
Death of David
10 Then David slept with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David.