1 Kings 1
-As the beginning of 1 Kings commences, King David is found to be of old age and needing attention to keep him warm with the effects of his failing health. Abishag the Shunammite was a young and beautiful woman who was brought in to comfort and care for the king in his final days, but he did not cohabit sexually with her (1 Kings 1-4).
-It comes about at this time that David’s fourth son, Adonijah, from Haggith exalted himself saying that he was going to be the next king of Israel as he saw his father’s health failing. Absalom and Amnon had died, and it is assumed that Daniel (listed in the 1 Chronicles 3:1 genealogy) had already died somehow. This should have paved the way for Adonijah to become the rightful king, but God and His servant David had other plans. Adonijah, who was a very handsome man and was never crossed by his father (1 Kings 1:6), conferred with Joab, the military leader under David, and Abiathar, the priest to stage a sacrifice to initiate his kingdom by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel (an unknown but hidden spring area near Jerusalem probably near or in the Kidron Valley). He invited all his brothers except Solomon, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. However, besides Solomon, he also did not invite Nathan the prophet (a confidant to King David who kept him accountable to the Lord, 2 Samuel 7; 12:1-15) or Benaiah of David’s mighty men (1 Kings 5-10).
-Nathan somehow catches wind of what is happening and conspires with Bathsheba (Solomon’s mother and former wife of Uriah the Hittite, 2 Samuel 11-12) to get the king’s approval for making Solomon the King of Israel as had been promised (1 Kings 1:17, 30, 1 Chronicles 22:9-10). Solomon is given the mule of the king and taken down to Gihon (a vital spring area for the city of Jerusalem) with the trumpet blowing and exaltation of “Long live King Solomon!” He was given the throne before all with the blessing of King David. Benaiah proclaims, “As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David (1 Kings 1:37)!”
-So Solomon is made king over Israel, and Adonijah along with his group fear for their well being as his guests went each his own way (1 Kings 1:49-50). Solomon promises as long as he, Adonijah, “is a worthy man, not one of his hairs will fall to the ground; but if wickedness is found in him, he will die (1 Kings 1:52).” Adonijah’s wickedness ends up costing him later on (1 Kings 2:13-25).
-*Application* There are several application points to consider from this first chapter of 1 Kings. First, the Bible is a truth book and reveals the inner workings within the King’s family with specific episodes of intrigue and conspiracy. Much of this is because David disobeyed the Lord’s command in the number of wives that he took (Deuteronomy 17:17). Because he multiplied wives there was constant family friction and chaos that ensued, ultimately leading to sorrow and pain through splits and divisions within his family and kingdom. Obedience is paramount to God’s blessings in our lives. Secondly, in this situation we read of today, we see that the prophet Nathan takes the initiative to take corrective action in a situation that could have gone horribly bad with a civil war. He addressed the problem with the people who could do something about it. He didn’t cower back and pretend that everything would be alright if he left well enough alone. This took courage and is an example for us to do the “right thing” in our own life situations that we encounter. Stand up and be a peace maker, not just a peace keeper like Nathan. Thirdly, we see that Solomon offered some grace in his position of authority by pardoning Adonijah when he did not have to do it. Had the situation been reversed, it is almost certain that Adonijah would have destroyed his enemy. But, as it was, Solomon acted as if he had nothing to prove, thus demonstrating his rightful authority and power as the Lord’s chosen. Sometimes forgiving a personal attack shows more strength than lashing out in prideful revenge. Trying to prove one’s power and authority often only proves one’s own fear and self-doubt. Let the Lord fight your battles (2 Chronicles 20:15). Vengeance is His (Romans 12:19).
Verse to Memorize: 1 Kings 1:37