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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

God at Work Behind the Scenes (1 Kings 1:41)

 "Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, "What's the meaning of all the noise in the city?"

Adonijah obviously thought that he had pulled off his scheme to become Israel's king. Sure of his success he had thrown a huge victory party and invited all of his supporters. Behind the scenes, however, another scene is unfolding. David calls for the priest, the prophet, and other officials to anoint Solomon king. After Solomon's coronation they too throw a party. The noise of their celebration interrupts Adonijah's victory party.

Today's reading also covers a conversation between King David and his successor, Solomon. Joab and Shimei probably thought that they had gotten away with their evil deeds. And Barzillai, he probably never gave his generosity to King David earlier another thought. Neither of the men had any idea that behind the scenes a conversation was occurring between two men that would affect each of them and their families.

This story teaches us several things:
  • Victory celebrations are sometimes premature. Adonijah assumed too much too early.
  • The rewards for loyalty are rarely immediate. Upon his deathbed David rewards Barzillai for earlier generosity.
  • Though much time may pass evil doers eventually receive the penalty for their actions. Shimei thought that because David forgave him for his cursing that he had gotten away with it. Joab thought that his value as a military ruler would accommodate for his needless murder of Amasa and Abner.
Good is eventually rewarded and evil retributed. Maybe not in this life but certainly in the next.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
1 Kings 1:28-2:9
  • How do the people respond to Solomon's coronation?
  • What is the basis of David's last words to Solomon?
  • What does this tell you about what David has learned about walking with God?
  • Why does David bring up Joab, Barzillai, and Shimei's names to Solomon?
Psalm 25
  • What are some of the things David struggles with in his old age?
  • What do his requests reveal to you about his struggles? His belief in God?
2 Samuel 23:1-7; 1 Kings 2:10-11; 1 Chronicles 29:26-30; 1 Kings 2:12; 1 Chronicles 29:23-25
  • How does David describe himself in this Psalm?
  • How does David describe his rule in Israel?
  • What two analogies does David use to describe those who rule in righteousness and in the fear of God?
  • How does God affirm Solomon's reign as king over Israel?
Turning truth into prayer:
Voice your trust in the Lord to vindicate you or others in your life who've suffered for doing the right thing.