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 (66)

66 thoughts on "King David’s Last Days"

  1. Lorena Nathan says:

    Prayer request for strength and divine justice. I have to testify against the man that killed my 5 year old grandson on October 28th.

    1. Christina Burrow says:

      I pray for peace and strength as well as divine justice for this terrible event. I pray that this is a stepping stone for healing for you and your family as well as a opportunity to remember and mourn for your loss. I pray that God continues to heal and give you his strength in the upcoming weeks. I pray that God may also give you the right words to say during your testimony.

      1. Kim HughesWerdebaugh says:

        Also praying for healing for you through this process! Praying for God’s strength, peace, grace, and love to show through you as you have to do this really hard thing. Forgiving, even if you have, doesn’t mean there are not consequences.

    2. G L says:

      Praying for you and your family!

    3. Katie Fleming says:

      Wow! Prayers for strength for you Lorena!

  2. Steffonie Swilley says:

    Hi everyone I’m new here

    1. Annette Kendall says:


  3. Takamdi Jaule says:

    God’s will always pans out no matter what man decides to do. As God’s children we have to prayerfully make decisions, He will always order our steps

  4. Evelyne Naneu says:

    Hey people am new here.. Can someone guide me


    One thing that came to mind while reading is ‘Man proposes, God disposes’. Adonijah went on with his own plans but God had HIS plan that will still be fulfilled. Adonijah self proclaimed himself king that was not in accordance of what God had planned and went on to celebrate about the city but somehow the celebration of Solomon still interrupted theirs at the sound of the horn. God’s plans > Man’s plans.

    1. Taylor Bush says:

      Yes I love this. Amen!

    2. Jennifer Anapol says:


  6. Melissa says:

    Thank you for finding this answer

  7. Audrey Flores says:

    I love in times of my season of transition God rules over it all. When things seem uncertain I have Jesus who is my firm foundation. When others (or myself) make plans that will hurt instead of help Jesus doesn’t let it harm me. I need Him to be the King in my life. And I pray Jesus shows me how to live my life fully submitted to Him.

  8. Chelsea Adkins says:

    Does anyone else think there might be some foreshadowing of Jesus when David requests Solomon to rise his mule/donkey?
    Also, I think it is quite interesting the differences in preparation to announce kingship between Adonijah and Solomon.

    1. Bethany Shaw says:

      I felt that too!

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