1 Kings 2

1 Kings 2:1-12
2:1 [Part 1 re: Solomon’s spiritual life] When the time drew near for David to die [about age 70], he gave a charge [to orient his son to life and leadership] to Solomon his son.

The Bible records the events surrounding David’s final days of life (1 Kings 1:1—2:10). As his life was hastening to an end, David took the opportunity to speak some final words to his son Solomon. David’s words reflected his concern for Solomon’s spiritual welfare (2:1-4) and for some unsettled issues that might cause problems for his son (2:5-9). David’s final words helped orient his son concerning issues of life and leadership.

2:2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said, “So be strong, show yourself a man [in the face of every task, difficulty, danger, and challenge],

Note: We can make our lives count for God by instructing future generations to live in faithfulness to God. The words, “ways … decrees … commands … laws … requirements” remind us to “live, think, and be directed by God’s whole teaching.”

2:3 and observe [steep yourself in] what the Lord your God requires [in both your private and public life]: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses [the law for the king; see Deut. 17:18-20], so that [links success to preceding thought] you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go [cf. Ps. 1:1-3],

David knew that Solomon would face a variety of tasks, difficulties, and dangers as king. He therefore encouraged Solomon to be strong and to show himself a man (v. 2). Just as David had demonstrated courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds when he faced Goliath, Solomon was to act courageously in the face of every challenge.

David also encouraged Solomon to observe what the Lord your God requires (v. 3). Solomon was to steep himself in God’s Word (v. 4; see also Deut. 17:18-19) and walk faithfully before Him (v. 5). Only then could Solomon or any of his descendants hope to experience any measure of success (v. 3).

Over the years I have visited with many people in their final hours of life. I have watched family members gather around the bed of a dying loved one. I have listened to those privileged to say farewell or to settle unresolved issues or to receive a final word of blessing from the lips of a dying family member.

We may or may not have the opportunity to challenge future generations to be faithful from our death bed. However, we do have the opportunity to challenge others to be faithful every day. We can make our lives count for God by instructing future generations to live in faithfulness to God.

In addition to living each day in intimate fellowship with God, living a life that blesses others, and holding to God’s promises confidently, a fourth answer to the question, How can I make my life count for God? is that I can challenge future generations to be faithful.


Note: You Can Make Your Life Count For God If You Will…
• Kneel Daily — Nurture your relationship with God by spending time in prayer.
• Listen Carefully — Allow God to speak to you through His Word.
• Stand Firmly — Live according to God’s Word in the face of every situation.
• Walk Faithfully — Be consistent and set an example worthy of imitation.
• Speak Wisely — Encourage others to make their lives count for God.
• Share Freely — Tell others how they can know and serve God.


2:4 and that the Lord may keep his promise to me [see 2 Sam. 7:12-13 re: Davidic covenant]: ‘If your descendants [each king must heed God’s Word and be an example for God’s people] watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully [total commitment] before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’

2:5 [Part 2 re: matters of unfinished business — old matters which could cause problems for Solomon] Now you yourself know what Joab [commander of David’s armies during most of David’s reign] son of Zeruiah [David’s sister; 2 Sam. 2:13; 1 Chron. 2:16] did to me — what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies [Joab’s potential rivals], Abner [chief military commander for Saul (1 Sam. 14:50); 2 Sam. 3:22-27] son of Ner and Amasa [2 Sam. 20:10] son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peace time as if in battle, and with that blood stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet.

2:6 Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace [Solomon ordered Benaiah to kill Joab; see 1 Kings 2].

2:7 But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai [a chieftain] of Gilead [located east of the Jordan] and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me [gave David needed supplies] when I fled from your brother Absalom.

Note: The sons of Barzillai supported David during his exile at the time of Absalom’s revolt (see 2 Sam. 17:27-29; 19:31-39).

2:8 And remember, you have with you Shimei [relative of Saul; a potential troublemaker] son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will not put you to death by the sword.’

Note: Shimei cursed and opposed David as he fled from Absalom (see 2 Sam. 16).

2:9 But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.”

2:10 Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David.

2:11 He had reigned forty years over Israel — seven years in Hebron [over Judah alone] and thirty-three in Jerusalem.

2:12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.

Practical Consideration
You can make your life count for God if you will…
• Kneel Daily — Nurture your relationship with God by spending time in prayer.
• Listen Carefully — Allow God to speak to you through His Word.
• Stand Firmly — Live according to God’s Word in the face of every situation.
• Walk Faithfully — Be consistent and set an example worthy of imitation.
• Speak Wisely — Encourage others to make their lives count for God.
• Share Freely — Tell others how they can know and serve God.

1 Kings 2:21-24
2:21 So she [Bathsheba] said, “Let Abishag [the young virgin brought to David near the end of his life to keep him warm (1 Kings 1:1-4)] the Shunammite be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah.”

2:22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom [asking for a member of the king’s harem implied the asker desired the kingship as well (cf. 2 Sam. 16:21-22)] for him—after all, he is my older brother—yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!”

2:23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD: “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request!

2:24 And now, as surely as the LORD lives—he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised—Adonijah shall be put to death today [Solomon ordered Benaiah to kill Adonijah (cf. 2:25)]!”

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