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Week 14 - 2 Samuel and 1 Kings

David's Latter Years

David is in his old years and he is in the process of passing the throne to his son Solomon. I must confess that I feel very conflicted about David when I read about this portion of his life. I shouldn't be surprised, as there are many other parts of David that leave me wondering how he could be God's chosen king.

My conflicted feelings come from David's instruction to Solomon in 1 Kings chapter 2. David seems to be very motivated to reward his allies and pay back his enemies, through Solomon. What is particularly troubling to me is his instructions regarding Shimei son of Gera. Shimei was the one who cursed David and his men when they were fleeing from Absalom's rebellion. After David was reestablished, Shimei fell at David's feet begging for mercy, which he promised to him. David's instructions to Solomon make me wonder if he ever really stopped holding a grudge against this man.

Solomon's rise to power is bloody beginning with him "tying up loose ends" for his father. We continue to wait for the king who will truly lead God's people in God's ways. Thanks be to God that we get to live under such a king in Jesus the son of David!

Solomon's Kingship

If David's kingship left us feeling conflicted, Solomon's reign is even more. In Solomon we have the king who is the recipient of God's strong promise to establish his throne. God even appears to Solomon and speaks his word of promise to him! He is favored and loved by God.

Yet, when I look at what Solomon accomplishes, what I see is him being successful at making Israel like the other nations around them. Growing in wealth, but not as the people of God. In fact, they seem to be becoming more like Egypt than God's chosen people!

We are seeing a common theme emerge as the Bible's story focuses on the kings of Israel, that we are waiting for God's true king, who will bring about God's rule in this world. All earthly rulers fail to do this and only give us flashes God's goodness, it points us to Jesus, the king of kings, the only true ruler of God's people.


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