Day One Hundred Thirty-One, I Kings 1, II Sam. 23, I Kings 2
Today’s reading is when Solomon becomes king over Israel. It contains an interesting little bit about Solomon’s brother, another of David’s sons, Adonijah, who tries to usurp the throne, despite the fact that David has named Solomon as his successor.
However, Solomon shows mercy to Adonijah as long as he is willing to submit, so he allows Adonijah to return to his home.
Most interesting to me in this reading is David’s last words to Solomon. He again advises him to obey the Lord and walk in His ways. But in it, he also includes some instructions on how he would like Solomon to deal with certain people.
Earlier, we discussed a man named Shimei, who cursed David when he was being driven out of Jerusalem by Absalom. Then after Absalom died, Shimei begged David for forgiveness and David showed him remarkable mercy. However, I also noted then that the story doesn’t end there. Unfortunately, we have as part of the last instructions, for Solomon to “bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.” Wow. That’s a little different change of heart.
This little tidbit was pointed out to me in a sermon probably two and a half years ago, and it has stayed with me, because David has always been one of my favorite people in the Bible, and this incident makes him seem just a little more human to me.
Sure, there was the whole Bathsheba thing, but I’ve always heard David taught as an incredible “man after God’s own heart” who had one big screw-up in his life. This shows him to be more like any of us, someone who is constantly struggling with something like forgiveness.