The transition from one ruler to the next is not always a smooth one.
• We see that in the election of a new president, in USA or Taiwan, or a new governor in Jakarta. It’s very political.
• We see a different kind of transition in 1 Kings 2. David called Solomon and gave him very good advice that would set him on the right footing.
• The interesting thing about David’s advice was that he encouraged Solomon to correct those things which he himself had failed to do while he was King of Israel.
First, David urges Solomon to devote himself to keeping God’s law:
• Two weeks ago - 1 Kings 2:2-4 "I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, show yourself a man, 3 and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go, 4 and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: `If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'
The point is clear: Obedience to God is the condition for the enjoyment of His blessings.
• We don’t normally think this way. A kingdom is secured because of its high walls, fortified city, the size of the army or state-of-the-art weaponry.
• Obedience to the Law of Moses? That will bring security and success to the Kingdom? This does not make sense but it’s true.
• God is the One who protects Israel. God fights for Israel.
The Lord says, “If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before Me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.”
• Did Israel, at any time in their history, not have a man on their throne? Strictly, yes.
• They were destroyed by the Babylonians, and lost their Kingdom, and their King.
• For a period of time, there wasn’t Israel nor a throne in Israel, because of DISOBEDIENCE.
But that UNFAITHFULNESS would not negate God’s promise to David (because God would restore the Kingdom).
• God’s promise is NOT founded upon our obedience. It is founded upon His unchanging promise. It will come true because God says so.
• But when we disobey, we lose the blessings that comes from the promise. We cannot ENJOY the blessings of what God has promised us.
Heed God’s Word, David tells Solomon. That’s where true security for the nation lies.
• Solomon learns. Psalm 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”
• Heed God’s Word, because that where our true security lies. That’s when we experience the blessings of God’s promise.
Second, David urges Solomon to deal with the threats (the evil-doers) – anyone or anything that fights against God’s will:
1 Kings 2:5-6 – JOAB
5 "Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me-what he did to the two commanders of Israel's armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. 6 Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.
THE GOOD (2:7): “Treat fairly the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, because they helped me when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.”
1 Kings 2:8-9 - SHIMEI
8 "And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD: `I will not put you to death by the sword.' 9 But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood."
Solomon listened to his father’s advice.
• The remaining part of 1 Kings 2 describes how he removed the FOUR THREATS to his Kingdom: Adonijah (2:13-25); Abiathar (2:26-27), Joab (2:28-35) and Shimei (2:36-46).
ADONIJAH (2:13-25) - we know in chapter 1, the brother who tried to seize the throne away him.
• He persuaded Bathsheba to request that he be given Abishag (his father David’s closest concubine, 1:1-4) as his wife.
• Taking a previous king’s woman was tantamount to claiming that king’s rights. It was a devious move for the throne.
• 1 Kings 2:22-24 - 22King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him - after all, he is my older brother - yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!" 23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD: "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request! 24And now, as surely as the LORD lives - He who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as He promised - Adonijah shall be put to death today!"
Solomon next dealt with ABIATHAR (26-27), the priest who had betrayed David by supporting Adonijah in his attempt to become king.
• Solomon banished him to his home. 1 Kings 2:27 “So Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood of the LORD, fulfilling the word the LORD had spoken at Shiloh about the house of Eli.”
• This was a fulfilment of God’s will: 1 Sam 2:29-30 – God said to ELI: 29Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honour your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?' 30"Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: `I promised that your house and your father's house would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: `Far be it from me! Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained.
• God prophesied that He would cut off ELI family line from being priests.
• 1 Sam 2:35 - 35I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before my anointed one always.
The fulfilment happens here in 1 Kings 2:35 - Solomon appointed Zadok as priest in his place. So the priesthood was transferred from Abiathar (descendant of Aaron’s son ITHAMAR) to Zadok (descendant of Aaron son’s ELEAZAR).
• From the prophecy to the fulfilment, from 1 Sam 2 to 1 Kings 2 = that’s 3 generations, 130 years. Rest assured it will come true, because God said it.
• He will right every wrong, no matter how long it takes. Evil cannot persist. Evil-doers will not last. God will judge. God will fulfil His promise. That’s our assurance!
Next was JOAB (2:28-35). He ran into the tabernacle and took refuge.
1 Kings 2:31-33 - 31Then the king commanded Benaiah, "Do as he says. Strike him down and bury him, and so clear me and my father's house of the guilt of the innocent blood that Joab shed. 32The LORD will repay him for the blood he shed, because without the knowledge of my father David he attacked two men and killed them with the sword. Both of them-Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel's army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah's army-were better men and more upright than he. 33May the guilt of their blood rest on the head of Joab and his descendants forever. But on David and his descendants, his house and his throne, may there be the LORD's peace forever."
Solomon finally carried out David’s counsel regarding SHIMEI (2:36-46).
• He was placed in house arrest in Jerusalem and not allowed to step out. Once that happens, his life would be taken. He violated that 3 years later.
• 1 Kings 2:44-46 - 44The king also said to Shimei, "You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the LORD will repay you for your wrongdoing. 45But King Solomon will be blessed, and David's throne will remain secure before the LORD forever." 46Then the king gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down and killed him.
This whole section starts and ends with the same line:
• 2:12 - So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.
• 2:46 - the Kingdom was now firmly established in Solomon's hands.
This is God’s will. God has spoken. All who stands opposing God will not stand.
• Reminds me of God’s instruction to Moses in Deut 7 – when you step into the land, they are to drive out their enemies and remove them completely. Sadly they did not.
But ultimately, God will do that. He is going to judge all evil-doers. It is a matter of time. God will fulfil His will.
Matt 13:41-43 – Jesus says at the end of the age, this is what will happen:
41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
THE WAY TO SECURE YOUR LIFE:
1. OBEY GOD and keep to His ways. This is the only way to experience His blessings.
2. DEAL WITH ALL THE THREATS that can derail us from God’s will. Don’t fall for their traps.