Welcome Back to the Bible Blog!
Are you suffering a little eye strain from last week’s blog? Man, that was long. I thought I talked long, but apparently I type long, too!
Well, let’s keep this one shorter by me and L…O…N…G…E…R… by you!
So we pick up in 2Samuel 16:5-14 where Shimei, one of King Saul’s relatives, comes cursing David and throwing rocks at him and his officials. In fact it says he pelted them with the stones!
Was David’s reaction what you expected?
That’s one of the things I find fascinating about David. Even though he sinned greatly (as we discussed last week) his typical actions are of a man with great character. Here he exhibits great humility, as he’s done many times before. He and all his companions know the actions of Shimei are sinful and probably punishable by death, but David abstains from action…for now.
Later in 2Samuel 19:12-13 David promises Amasa, David’s relative, that he will serve as commander for life of David’s army, in place of Joab (the current commander). He even goes so far as to swear an oath saying, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you are not the commander of my army for life in place of Joab.” This is a solemn vow.
You may have been wondering, “Why was David intent on replacing Joab?” Remember in 2Samuel 3:22-39 we read the story of how Abner had come to see David and David had allowed him to leave in peace? When Joab found out that David had Abner in his presence and allowed him to leave in peace, Joab was indignant. He, Joab, summoned his men and sent them to pursue Abner and bring him back. When Joab caught up with Abner he killed him. None of this was known to David at the time.
When David was told what had happened he was distraught and walked around in mourning for Abner. He called down a curse on Joab and his family for this evil act. More than likely this was David’s motivation for replacing Joab as commander and here in 2Sam 19 he promises Amasa that he will be the new commander.
However, before Amasa could be made commander, Joab happens to come across him while pursuing someone else. In 2Sam 20:8-10 we see the deceptive tactics that Joab uses to kill Amasa and rally the army behind him once again.
[David’s Song of Praise in chapter 22 is awesome as well. Reread it, because I’m keeping this blog shorter this week!]
Finally, before jumping into 1Kings I wanted to point out a great principle that we see David espouse in 2Samuel 24:24, “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing!” Great words to live by!
Getting into 1Kings 2:5-9 we see David on his deathbed giving Solomon advice about “cleaning things up” at the beginning of his reign. David advises Solomon to “take care of” Joab. The euphemism used is, “do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.” Just after his instructions about Joab, he now mentions Shimei. Again he uses a similar euphemism about Shimei when he tells Solomon, “Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.”
Now Adonijah, who had claimed kingship for himself in chapter 1, has shown himself to have evil intentions as he asks to be married to Abishag (love that name!) who was King David’s concubine late in life. To ask for the hand of the king’s concubine was to make a claim for the throne itself.
So Solomon systematically sends Benaiah son of Johoiada after all three of these men. After killing each of them (2Sam 2:13-46) the Bible says, “The kingdom was now established in Solomon’s hands.”
Now you understand why Bathsheba said to David in 1Kings 1:21, “as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.” Adonijah, who had unjustly attempted to claim the throne for himself, would have most certainly done what he could to eliminate all rivals immediately after David’s death. Solomon’s kingdom was not established until after the three amigos were dealt with.
It’s interesting to me that all this happened before Solomon prayed for wisdom and his desire was granted, along with fame and wealth, etc.
Our reading ends with the construction and consecration of the Temple. Did you notice in Solomon’s prayer at the dedication that he kept indicating that Israel would rebel against God? He kept pleading with God that when the Israelites confessed and pleaded for forgiveness that God would hear them and forgive them. In fact he tells us in 2Sam 8:46 that, “there is no one who does not sin.” Hmm… sounds like Romans 3:23, doesn’t it?
Finally, keep in mind that although the Old Testament often makes reference to The Law, and as believers today we can often make the mistake of thinking that the Old Testament was all about The Law, it really is all about the heart. God is and always has been most concerned and desirous of our hearts.
Look at 2Sam 8:39-40, where Solomon says to God, “Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart), so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.” – It’s always been about the heart!
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