1 Kings 2:10-27

Death of David

10 Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. 11 The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years he reigned in Hebron and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem. 12 And Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

13 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peacefully?” And he said, “Peacefully.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” And she said, “Speak.” 15 So he said, “You know that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel [l]expected me to be king; however, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16 Now I am making one request of you; do not [m]refuse me.” And she said to him, “Speak.” 17 Then he said, “Please speak to Solomon the king, for he will not [n]refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” 18 Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak to the king for you.”

Adonijah Executed

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I am making one small request of you; do not [o]refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not [p]refuse you.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom—for he is my older brother—even for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do so to me and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own [q]life. 24 Now therefore, as the Lord lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father and who has made me a house as He promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death today.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him so that he died.

26 Then to Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anathoth to your own field, for you [r]deserve to die; but I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord [s]God before my father David, and because you were afflicted in everything with which my father was afflicted.” 27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord, which He had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

It’s certainly not as clear today that what Adonijah asked for was improper, but I think we see a hint of this in the fact that Adonijah went to Bathsheba first for his request.

Of course, Adonijah may have just been scared that Solomon would have his head at the first sight of him. Regardless, when Adonijah asked for his father’s concubine to be his wife, it was the tipping point that showed Solomon his true heart.

On the other hand, he showed mercy to Abiathar for his previous treachery, but he still fulfilled the word of God that had been spoken against the house of Eli years earlier in Shiloh.

While many of us may never have to make true life and death decisions like this, it is a stark reminder that our decisions can carry a great amount of weight. Our decisions today can have consequences that we could never imagine, and so we must seek wisdom from the one who sees it all clearly.

Seek God’s face daily, ask Him to guide your steps, so that you may work out His plan for your life and in the lives of others. That you may be a force for good in their lives, and be used to draw them nearer to Jesus each day.

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