Day 1

King David’s Last Days

from the 1 & 2 Kings reading plan

1 Kings 1:1-53, 1 Kings 2:1-46, 2 Samuel 7:12-13

BY Melanie Rainer

By whatever stroke of chance or luck (or the-opposite-of-luck), I’ve never had to follow in anyone’s footsteps when starting a new job. I’ve always stepped into an unformed role and had the joy (and challenge) of shaping it to fit the opportunities before me.

But a few months ago, that changed. I took a job that someone had held previously, and the awkwardness of learning to walk in your own shoes on someone else’s tightrope has required more grace and patience than I ever could have expected. It’s like constantly looking in a mirror but the reflection isn’t you. I feel like I’m tipping over all the sacred cows, even as I try to tread lightly while I also prove myself. It’s a mess of idols and pride, and it’s hard.

David was the king. He was King David, a man after God’s own heart. He was King David, who brought the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. He was David, to whom God promised a descendant on his throne forever. The shepherd boy who became king, David was the standard against whom all other kings of Israel would be judged. Taking his place would have been daunting, but it would also lead to unprecedented power.

When David was on his deathbed, two men believed they held claim to his throne: Adonijah and Solomon. Both wanted to step into his shoes, lead his people, and claim his fame. Adonijah was David’s oldest surviving son, but David had promised Bathsheba that their son Solomon would be the next king (1 Kings 1:13). Chaos ensued, with back-room conversations and an attempted coup. But David, when told that “the eyes of all Israel are on you to tell them who will sit on the throne” (v.20), affirmed that Solomon was his choice.

Chapter 2 opens with David’s charge to Solomon. It is full of encouragement to “be strong and be a man” (v.2), and admonishes the soon-to-be king to walk in God’s “ways [and] keep his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees” (v.3). David then reminds his son of the covenant promise God made to him: “If your sons guard their way to walk faithfully before me with all their heart and all their soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel” (v.4).

Our privilege as those who hold the entire canon of the Bible is that we know how this story goes: Solomon didn’t always follow the Lord and His ways. His father David didn’t. Nor did the rest of Israel and Judah’s other kings.

But despite the failures of humankind, our God reigns. In Israel’s time of transition, God reigned. In every second before and every second after, God reigned, is reigning, and will reign forever. While our earthly leaders matter, our ultimate allegiance is to God’s Kingdom and to the perfect King of kings, Jesus. It means we can live lightly but intentionally, resting in the holy, sovereign kingship of the One who will make everything new as we advocate for His Kingdom to grow on earth here and now.

Post Comments (68)

68 thoughts on "King David’s Last Days"

  1. emily pruitt says:

    Leadership is so hard. Especially a transition. It’s nice to see the perspective of .. Humans can and will falter in it, so God should be your main focus through it all. Human leadership is expected to make mistakes, but God isn’t. So where do you put your trust?

  2. Tania Pangia says:

    Just got to this book today, I wanted to try a new way of reading and learning on this one, it’s pretty good so far!

  3. Dalia Rodriguez says:

    I love how human the kings were. Reminds me of that saying, “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.”

  4. Angela Greenwood says:

    Such a timely study with everything going on in the US.

  5. Arika A.Varney says:

    This was so good to read and drama filled. I googled a few times to understand Solomon and the hard decisions he had to make. It’s so interesting to know the same betrayals happen today in family, work, and relationships.

  6. Akeesha Giddings says:

    God keeps his promises even when we don’t.

  7. Dashley Venezario says:

    I’m learning a lot from this story it’s my second time reading it and I wanted to get a new Perspective on it and that’s why I bought this devotional what God was showing me was that we have be Patient and willing to trust him because if he said something is going to be for filled he will do it

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