Reading through the Bible together
David has reached the last days of his life! Solomon, his son has been crowned King of Israel! David knows, by experience what a tremendous task and responsibility that was. He can remember the trials and tribulations, the victories and deceptions. He hopes to share with the new king some of the wisdom that he acquired during his reign. Solomon has already demonstrated that he has a magnanimous heart in his dealings with his older brother Adonijah.
David gives a 5 fold charge to Solomon as he begins his reign: (1) be strong; (2) keep the charge of of the Lord your God by walking in His ways, keeping His statutes, commandments, and testimonies; (3) deal with Joab according to your wisdom. You know what he did to me; 4) show kindness to the sons Barzillai; 5) deal wisely with Shimei and let not his soul go in peace. David wanted Solomon to start with a clean slate. There were many mistakes that David made in the past and he was aware of it. He was hoping that his son would learn from his experiences. David died, as recorded in I Chron. 29:28, "in a good old age, full of days, riches and honour."
Solomon's kingdom is now firmly established and his brother Adonijah makes another mistake. He wants Abishag, as his wife, a beautiful maiden who served David as a nurse in his old age. By doing so he was aiming at the throne again. It was very clear what he had in mind and he paid for it with his life. Another casualty was Abiathar, the priest. Because of his friendship with David he was spared and sent home. Quite a humiliating experience! When Joab heard that Adonijah was dead he feared for his life and fled to the sanctuary. He had been guilty for his crimes and disloyalty to David. Upon the command of Solomon, Benaiah in charge of the army, went to the sanctuary and struck Joab down. The one left was Shimei. He broke his vow to Solomon not to leave Jerusalem and went out after his slaves and also paid for it with his life.
This chapter of the old account shows up several things: The beautiful and courteous way by which Solomon treated his mother; the deceptions and ambitions of Adonijah who should have learned the first time from the kindness bestowed upon him from his brother. Also the fact that people such as Joab, Abiathar, and Shimei who had made mistakes and had not been faithful to David.
The day of judgment comes to all of us who are not true to God, loyal to the church, and faithful to our leaders.
Retired GC Vice-President