Summary: Solomon heeded David's advice to devote himself to keeping God's Law and deal with the threats to his Kingdom.
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.