Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 27 May 18:
1. 1 Kings 1:1-4 — “Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms, that my lord the king may be warm.” The Bible notes that, though this young woman was very beautiful, David did not have sex with her, addressing the obvious: why did David need a beautiful young woman to lie in his arms to “keep warm.” It would appear David was still a womanizer, and even if he wasn’t, this is still not the sort of thing an adulterer king should do because the perception alone is not good.
2. 1 Kings 1:5 — “Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, ‘I will be king.’ And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” Adonijah did not consult God before assuming kingship. If your plan isn’t God’s plan, it is doomed from the start.
3. 1 Kings 1:6 — “His father [David] had never at any time displeased him by asking, ‘Why have you done thus and so?’ He was also a very handsome man, and he was born next after Absalom.”
– This chapter reveals David’s ‘fatal flaws,’ things about him that he never mastered and that caused great heartache for him and for others. First, he was a womanizer; second, he did not hold himself or people close to him accountable for their actions, particularly, his sons and Joab. Do you have fatal flaws?
– Adonijah was very handsome like Absalom (and David). We are often enamored by the appearance, talents, personality, and popularity of those that would proclaim themselves as leader, rather than seeking to identify people of noble character and lifting them up.
– David lost the ability to lead, but did not effectively transfer authority to a capable leader, causing a leadership void. To whom will you transfer your responsibility (particularly your responsibility to proclaim Christ), and are you preparing them?
4. 1 Kings 1:7, 8 — “He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. But Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei and David’s mighty men were not with Adonijah.”
– There were priests on both sides of the “Adonijah” issue. Abiathar not only positioned himself against God, he counseled others against God. What a terrible place to be in life. Today we have many priests boldly proclaiming ungodly lies. They will face severe judgment.
– 1 Kings 1:7 — Joab was a pragmatist who did what seemed right to him in his own eyes. His ways were not God’s ways.
5. 1 Kings 1:9,10 — “Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent’s Stone.” Adonijah attempted to validate his kingship with religious ceremony, but he did not invite the faithful followers of God. We may act like our selfish deeds are being done for God’s glory, but God sees through that and will not honor our actions. One indicator that your successes may not be God’s successes is if they are not being celebrated with truly holy people within your church who recognize them as the clear activity of God in your life.
6. 1 Kings 1:15 — “Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was attending to the king.” In their old age, David and Bathsheba had grown apart, and this had a negative impact on their adult children.
7. 1 Kings 1:49-52 — Under pressure, the character of Adonijah and his friends was revealed.
8. 1 Kings 1:52 — “And Solomon said, ‘If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.’” Solomon chose justice and mercy over revenge. He was willing to give his brother a chance, but was also ready to hold him accountable.
9. 1 Kings 2:3 — “Keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.” David’s dying wish for his son was that he would obey God.
10. 14. 1 Kings 2:5, 6 — “Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and on the sandals on his feet. Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace.” David asks Solomon to settle the score with Joab (and Shimei), something David never had the moral courage to do himself. Your inheritance to the next generation should not be problems you refused to solve.
11. 2 Kings 2:8, 9 – “And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.” David never really forgave Shimei the son of Gera, though outwardly he presented grace — “And the king said to Shimei, ‘You shall not die.’ And the king gave him his oath.” (2 Samuel 19:23) Have you ever offered forgiveness but inwardly harbored resentment? True forgiveness and grace is from the heart. God judges the heart.
12. 2 Kings 2:17 — “Give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.” Adonijah’s request revealed his ambition to be king over Solomon. Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13) Do your prayers requests reveal what God wants or what you want? Is your desire “thy will be done,” or “my will be done”? When you want what God wants, God will absolutely give you what you want, your prayers will be answered in the affirmative. When your prayers are misaligned with God’s will, He will use the conversation to change your heart. Either way, your prayers are essential to your relationship. Communication is key to any relationship.
13. 1 Kings 2:22 — “And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also….” Adonijah, by asking for Abishag, was actually attempting to leverage more political power against Solomon. Solomon saw through this ploy, realizing that Adonijah could never be trusted.
14. 1 Kings 2:32 — “The LORD will bring back his bloody deeds on his own head.” Again the biblical theme — God treats you the way you treat others.
15. 1 Kings 2:32 — “He attacked and killed with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself.” Just because you are righteous doesn’t mean God will protect you from persecution, even death. Your reward is fellowship with Jesus, now and forever more. Isn’t that enough to make your joy complete?
16. 1 Kings 2:36-46 — Again, Solomon did not just exact revenge on Shimei but rather sought justice and mercy, giving Shimei a chance to prove himself. Shimei failed the test. One might use this outcome to justify David’s lack of forgiveness, but David had condemned Shimei prematurely.
17. Proverbs 27:1 — “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Don’t put that big job off another day — do it today. If God puts it on your heart, do it immediately. Delay is disobedience, sin. The Marine Corps definition of discipline is applicable – Discipline: Instant, willing obedience to orders.
18. Proverbs 27:6 — “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Only a true friend will tell you what you need to hear. Others tell you what you want to hear for their selfish purposes — they want to avoid conflict for their own comfort. Though many justify flattery by telling themselves that they don’t want to hurt feelings, they are really setting someone up for more pain later. Most of the time the truth is hard on the messenger too. True love tells the truth in love.
19. Proverbs 27:13 — “Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.” God wants you to intervene to protect others from their own sinful actions. Again, this is an act of love.
20. Proverbs 27:17 — “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” You cannot sharpen yourself completely. You were made for relationships; your mission is all about relationships. God gave Eve to Adam and Adam to Eve for a reason. God’s greatest commandment to us is to love. You cannot grow in love in isolation. If you fancy yourself as a loner, you have a heart problem.
21. Psalm 62:1 — “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.” Wait for God in silence before just acting on your own knowledge and perceived wisdom. True wisdom is a spiritual discernment, not just an intellectual exercise.
22. Psalm 62:9 — “Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion.” Personal power is a very strong delusion.
23. Psalm 62:11 — “Power belongs to God.” Remind yourself of this daily, hourly!
24. Psalm 63:1 — “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Do you thirst for God?
25. Psalm 63:1 — “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” The love of God is better than life — it is eternal life. See John 17:3
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 27 May: Wait in silence for The Lord today. Wait on Him. Cast your cares upon Him, and trust Him with your issues. The world would say, “Don’t just stand there; do something!” God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 62:1; Psalm 37:7; Psalm 46:10)