1 Kings 2:1–3:2
The day drew near for David to die. His opening words to his son are worth repeating if we ever find ourselves on our “deathbeds” addressing our sons:
1 Kings 2:2–3 (NKJV) “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. 3 And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”
David tells Solomon, “Everyone on earth is going to die one day, and my day has come, son, so… “man-up.” And wise up, look up, grow up, by making sure you read and heed God’s Word, the Bible. Take it to heart, Solomon, if you do, you’ll be blessed, and so will your sons after you.”
After the spiritual, came the political counsel. In one sense this chapter deals with the further “establishment” of Solomon’s throne. Warren Wiersbe wrote, “Before he died, David gave Solomon wise counsel about the men who were a threat to the throne.”
Not only threats to the throne, but justice must be served, and kindness appreciated. Justice – the innocent blood that Joab shed, had to be dealt with. Kindness – the generosity of Barzillai would allow his sons to eat at the king’s table.
David didn’t say anything about Adonijah to Solomon, but in the same spirit, Solomon is watching him closely. Adonijah thinks he can outwit Solomon by talking to his mother, Bathsheba and request Abishag as wife, the last “lady” that King David had. Adonijah is able to fool Bathsheba but not Solomon. Solomon knew that such a request is much too close to a claim to the Kingdom, and the man who was hoping for a wedding and a crown, ends up at a funeral in a coffin.
The banishment of Abiathar the priest who had defected to Adonijah is a fulfillment of 1 Samuel 2:30-35 regarding the descendants of Eli.
David knew that Solomon would know what to do with Shimei, the man who had no problem cursing the king publicly. By allowing Shimei to live in the confines of Jerusalem only, Solomon was giving him some rope, and Solomon knew that it would only be a matter of time before Shimei hung himself.
Certain individuals had to be “dealt” with – they were, and so we read in:
1 Kings 2:46 (NKJV) “…thus the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.”
The treaty and marriage of Pharaoh’s daughter would be more than a political maneuver, it would be part of Solomon’s failure as a king. He would eventually build his wife a house, but first he would build his own palace, the Temple of God, and the walls around Jerusalem. Positions of leadership and politics are not easy places to navigate. If only Solomon would have heeded ALL the words of his father.
Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit. Apparently, they wanted the accolades of men, pretending to give all the money to the church, when in all reality, they kept some for themselves. God didn’t demand or even ask for all the money, but this couple was interested in all the glory that would come with such a sacrifice.
By His grace, God doesn’t kill everyone in the church who is guilty of this sin today, or we would be dropping like flies. But as He begins this new work, He wants the church to have a healthy fear that would lead to holiness. I hope that the reading of this account does the same to us now, as it did to them then.
Acts 5:11 (NKJV) “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.”
Sandy Adams aptly said, “Peter calls them on the carpet, and they never get up.”
“O Lord, please make us the real deal; please have all of me, all the time; may I never, ever lie to the Holy Spirit.”
This resulted in powerful signs and salvation.
Acts 5:14 (NKJV) “And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.”
Warren Wiersbe comments, “Dealing with sin in the church often results in new power for the church. Can you imagine a church so spiritual that people were afraid to join them? Even Peter’s shadow had power!”
The religious leaders were “filled with indignation,” and arrested the Apostles, but an angel of the Lord set them free and commanded them to go, stand in the Temple and speak to the people all the words of this life. And they did.
They were arrested again and reprimanded by the religious court. I love the accusation and pray that we at Calvary Chapel El Monte would be guilty of the same, “…you have filled Jerusalem (El Monte) with your doctrine.” (Acts 5:28)
They “strictly” commanded the Apostles not to teach in the name of Jesus. Peter and the guys knew the Godly principle they were called to abide by:
Acts 5:29b (NKJV) “…we ought to obey God rather than men.”
As Christians we are called to submit to our governing authorities – UNLESS – those laws clearly conflict with the commands of God.
Holiness brought power, which brought signs, salvation, and eventually suffering.
Some believe that Gamaliel gave the group of religious leaders good advice, to leave them alone – if it wasn’t of the Lord, it would fade away, and if it WAS of the Lord, they wouldn’t be able to stop it anyhow. They agreed in word, but never really took his advice. Other’s believe Gamaliel’s advice was off. The teaching of some false prophets continues today. Ultimately, it would have been better if Gamaliel opened his heart, looked at the evidence and made a decision for Christ, it doesn’t do anyone any good, to stay neutral.
They beat the Apostles, but they couldn’t “beat” the Apostles, if you know what I mean. The Apostles would eventually fill the world with this doctrine.
The religious leaders warned them not to speak in the Name of Jesus, and let them go. We highlight their response in:
Acts 5:41-42, (NKJV) “So they departed from the presence of the counsel, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
Sandy Adams writes, “Black and blue, bloodied and bruised, their backs a collage of crisscrossed scars – you would expect the apostles to be nursing their wounds and indulging in a little self-pity. But no, they are rejoicing. The followers of Jesus are honored to have suffered a little for the One who suffered so much for them. Soon they are back in the temple preaching about their Savior.”
The Songs of Ascents continue. These would be the songs the pilgrims would sing on their way, as they journeyed and ascended to Jerusalem.
If we trust the LORD, we’re compared to Mount Zion, a mountain that can never be moved. I think of 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Not only Mount Zion, but now think of all the mountains surrounding Jerusalem. This is a picture of the way the LORD surrounds us, His people – and not just now, but forever more.
The Psalmist knew that Jerusalem would not end with the reign of the wicked – but along the way there would be good and there would be bad in the world of men and even in the city of God – so he prays.
Do good to the good, Lord, to those who trust You.
Deal with the disobedient accordingly, Lord, hear me, don’t let them be.
Ultimately, Lord, please, bring peace to Your people.
In my opinion, this is one of the most important Proverbs and warnings in the entire Bible. The whole wide world is running with this messed up mindset – they think that they are the determiners of what’s right or wrong, simply by what “seems” right to them.
Here we read that God says, there is a way that “seems” right to a man – but its end is the way of death, doom, and destruction.
A wiser way of determining what’s right and wrong is simply to ask God, our Maker and Maintainer; to look to our Ruler to set the rules. Jesus Himself, told us, the answers are in the Bible. If we follow God’s Word, we will find life (John 14:6).
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.