1 Kgs 2:1-46
As David’s days drew night, he called Solomon his son and gave him some specific instructions. First, he was to ensure he walked in the ways of God, keeping his commandments as written by Moses, this will ensure Solomon’s prosperity.
Secondly, David gave instructions on how Solomon should deal with various people that he had interaction with during his own reign. Notable was Joab, who was to be held accountable for killing two important captains of the host of Israel – Abner and Amasa. we will remember that he killed both men without David’s knowledge, and also at a time when the bore their allegiance with David.
Solomon was to show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, who came to David’s help when he fled Absalom.
Next was Shimei, the Benjaminite, who cursed David as he left Jerusalem. Though David promised not to kill him, he gave instructions to Solomon to deal with him with wisdom and ensure that he was held accountable for his action.
So, David died and was buried, after reigning for forty years – seven in Hebron and thirty three in Jerusalem. Solomon took over from his father and his throne was established greatly. We quickly learnt of the things he immediately had to deal with before settling down to rule.
First was Adonijah, his brother, whose plan was usurped when wanted to take over the throne without David’s consent. He went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mum, asking her to talk on his behalf to the king to have Abishag the Shunammite – the beautiful damsel ministering to David- as wife. This request when presented however did not go well with Solomon, as he saw beyond the simple request, to other hidden plans by adonijah to undermine his authority. So, he ordered Benaiah the son of Jehoiada to kill Adonijah, and he did.
The next person to deal with was Abiathar the priest, one of the conspirators with Adonijah. He did not kill him because of his service to David his father, but divested him of his priesthood and sent him out of Jerusalem to Anathoth. This also fulfilled God’s words to Eli that his family’s priesthood would be cut off.
Next was Joab, who after hearing what happened to Adonijah, ran to the Lord’s tabernacle and held the horns of the altar. Solomon however gave his consent to Benaiah to slay him right there. I like Spurgeon’s exegesis of this passage when he talked of that fact that disregarding God all our lives, and quickly clinging to religious rites or symbols when troubles come will not be of any help. It is only when we trust God with our heart to rescue and save us, that we are safe.
Lastly was Shimei the Benjaminite. Solomon told him that he was to live in Jerusalem all his life, and that the day he departs the city, he would die. Shimei took an oath to this. However, a time came when two of Shimei’s servants escaped to philistine, and he went searching for them. Solomon was told about this, so on his return he called Shimei, judged him and ordered Benaiah to kill him.
Thus, Solomon’s kingdom was established, as judgement was served on the evil people around him. He made Zadok priest in place of Abiathar, and Benaiah captain in place of Joab.
Who do you surround yourself with as a leader, your company could determine your failure or your success. A wise man chooses his friends carefully – be aware.
Some verses to remember
vs 12: Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.