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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29 - 1 Kings 1-2; Psalms 37, 71, 94: Solomon Carries Out David's Last Wishes

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 1-2; Psalm 37, 71, 94

The Message

English Standard Version

We begin 1 Kings. It records the death of David and the life of Solomon. It continues on through the divided kingdom up until the death of Ahab. Today we say goodbye to the greatest king of Israel, David.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

David uses Solomon to bring judgment on his old enemies.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

David's servants brought the virgin Abishag to keep him warm.
Adonijah, spoiled by David, called himself king with Joab's and Abiathar's approval. David repeated his promise to make Solomon king with a parade in Solomon's honor to proclaim his legitimacy.
Adonijah begged for his life. Solomon granted it.
As David lay dying, he made Solomon promise to uphold God's commands and avenge those who hurt him in the past.
Adonijah was executed while asking for Abishag's hand in marriage. Abiathar was exiled. Joab was executed. Shimei violated the terms of his house arrest and was executed.
Solomon reigned in peace.

Psalm (P)Synopsis

Psalm 37

David warns against envying wicked people. If you bring yourself before God humble, open, and righteous your enemies will soon be gone. The wicked are obsessed with hurting the righteous, but in the end they become comical farces. God never abandons His People when they obey Him. God grants a protected, safe life.

Psalm 71

The author runs to God for salvation from the wicked, bad bullies. Since childhood God has never abandoned His People. Don’t start now! The author wants to sing a song of praise to God while those who oppose God are ashamed.

Psalm 94

God, how long will you sit idly by while the wicked get away with murder? You idiots, you think God doesn't know what you do? Blessed are those who are trained by God. He was on my side when I needed Him. Nothing can defeat or trick God.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Once again, David's sons cause him problems.

Once again, David's lack of disciplining his children hurts his kingdom. David already had one son rape his sister and another son take his throne. Now Adonijah has disregarded his father's wishes and made himself king. Parents, discipline your children to prevent headaches in the future.

Joab has turned against David.

You might feel sorry for Joab because he fought for David for so long. He even followed David's orders to take a census of Israel's fighting men. Then Joab was embarrassingly demoted when he killed the traitor Absalom. One cannot help but think that all of these issues led to Joab siding with Adonijah. However, Joab was not a great man. He murdered Abner when he came to discuss peace with David. He killed Amasa as they went to war against Sheba the traitor. Joab was a complex man, but David's and Joab's disdain for each other prevented good communication. Treat your greatest friends with care, they can become your greatest enemies. In Joab and David's case, this enmity caused the death of the former because of the promise made to the latter by his son.

David's last words to Solomon are similar to God's justice.

David's last will and testament to Solomon isn't for the weak. David wants to punish Joab and Shimei because they sinned. Joab murdered two men in cold blood. Shimei cursed David. However, he also blessed the sons of Barzillai. This mirror's God's setting things right because the ones who were guilty were punished but the sons of the righteous were blessed. God will punish all of those who are guilty but bless the offspring of those who are righteous. Before we focus on God's punishment let's consider God's blessings on those who have not earned their blessings.

Solomon carries out justice with mercy.

He does not execute Abiathar because he was God's man even though Abiathar sided with Adonijah. This also fulfilled God's prophecy to Eli that his family would no longer serve as priests. Joab, however, would not be spared. He had killed during peacetime, so he must be punished,
Absolve me and my father’s family of the guilt from Joab’s senseless murders. God is avenging those bloody murders on Joab’s head. Two men he murdered, men better by far than he ever was …. Responsibility for their murders is forever fixed on Joab and his descendants; but for David and his descendants, his family and kingdom, the final verdict is God’s peace. (2:31-33, The Message)
Shimei is allowed to live but is under city arrest. When he violated his terms of arrestment he is punished. Setting things right does not always lead to the absolution of punishment; however, punishments can be lessened.

Envy what is God's and try to succeed by His ways.

If you want to succeed, follow the actions of those who have a long reputation of success. God has an eternity of success. The wicked have a short-spanned success story that ends badly. Don't succeed like them! Envy God's success and emulate His actions to succeed.

God's People will never be in the streets.

This may sound like an overstatement. It also smacks of the Prosperity Gospel that is going throughout the world. However, we must read this as it is meant, as a comparison of God's ways to the wicked's ways. No person that obeys God goes hungry, not because they will always have high-paying jobs that give them lots of disposable income. God's People will never go hungry and live in the street because they are part of a community that sets things right through sharing God's blessings with each other. When we see people who want to go at life alone they may find themselves alone and unable to provide for themselves. When this happens, the best course of action is to surround them with a community. I am a living testament that God's people will never be in the street. When I needed help surviving I have always had a group of God's people willing to help us through. Someday I hope to do the same.

God will never abandon His People!

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