Friday, April 6, 2012

1 Kings 1:28-53

28 Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.
29 The king then took an oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 30 I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”
31 Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”
32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, 33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.”
36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so declare it. 37As the LORD was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!”
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon mount King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.
41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, “What’s the meaning of all the noise in the city?”
42 Even as he was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news.”
43 “Not at all!” Jonathan answered. “Our lord King David has made Solomon king. 44 The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king’s mule, 45 and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That’s the noise you hear. 46 Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. 47 Also, the royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon’s name more famous than yours and his throne greater than yours!’ And the king bowed in worship on his bed 48 and said, ‘Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today.’”
49 At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. 50 But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Then Solomon was told, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’”
52 Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” 53 Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.”

Points of Interest
  • ‘Call in Bathsheba’--I don’t exactly understand the ins and outs of what’s being described here. I was under the impression that Bathsheba was already in the room.
  • ‘’May my lord King David live forever!’--it’s interesting that even as they plan together for who will take over once David dies, Bathsheba offers this wish that he would live forever.
  • ‘have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him’--in many ways, Adonijah has the upper hand: he is older; he has the support of the other brothers; and he has the master strategist Joab on his side. But Solomon has two practically unbeatable advantages, in Nathan and David. David gives Solomon his own limousine and the throne itself. And Nathan anoints him. Thus, it becomes immediately clear that Solomon is both David’s choice and God’s.
  • ‘Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites’--when Joab took command of the army after Amasa’s death, Benaiah took Joab’s old job as commander of the Kerithites, Pelethites, and other special forces.
  • ‘so that the ground shook with the sound’--Solomon’s people are blowing trumpets and pipes and doing whatever else they can to express their support as loudly as possible.
  • ‘all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed’--the spectacle works. Adonijah’s guests are intimidated, and they all suddenly remember that they’re late for another appointment.
  • ‘took hold of the horns of the altar’--Adonijah figures that no one would be willing to shed blood in such a holy place.
  • ‘Solomon replied’--up until now, everyone--David, Bathsheba, Nathan, Zadok, Benaiah--has been acting on Solomon’s behalf. This is the first time he speaks for himself. Solomon rises to the occasion, behaving like the king he will soon be.
  • ‘Adonijah came and bowed down’--he’s surrendering, and recognizing Solomon as king.
Taking it Home
  • For you: Contrasting David’s response here to his response several years earlier when Absalom tried to take the throne is impressive; if he had a therapist I’m sure she would agree that David is progressing well. In contrast to the time with Absalom, David doesn’t react to or seem afraid of Adonijah. He has learned that he doesn’t need to feel threatened by such situations—something I can see it might take a little while to learn. What situations are you in that feel threatening? What relationship or scenario causes you to suddenly feel like you need to protect your sense of self, your well-being, or your livelihood? Ask God to give you a sense of abundance and security in those situations. Tell God that you trust God to provide for you and to look out for your best interest. Ask God to show you how you might respond next time a threatening situation occurs.
  • For your six: Adonijah’s poor guests get caught in the middle of a potentially fatal family feud. I’m guessing they attended the feast because it sounded like a fun, inviting party with friends—only to find out later it was a palace coup. Who do your six spend the most time with? Where do they go to celebrate and have a good time? Ask God to give your six friends who are looking out for their best interest. Pray that your six wouldn’t end up in volatile situations like Adonjiah’s guests did.
  • For our church: Solomon effectively sends Adonijah to his room for a time out. It seems like maybe we are all prone to have some childish outbursts whether we like it or not. Pray that God would give us an incredible amount of maturity to deal with all the ups and downs that life can bring. Pray that God would keep our church clear-headed and focused on God.
  • For families: Talk about any of the ways that you see each other growing in your relationship with God and in faith during this Lenten season. What are some things you see as a family member that others might miss? Talk about the ways in which you see each other taking that first step toward more faith. Pray for each other that God would walk with each of you and help you take the next steps.