Scripture: 1 Kings 1:32-2:4
Key verses: (2-3) “Be strong, be courageous, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statues, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”
Reflection: King David of Israel had a complicated family life. In the Bible we find seven wives listed by name (plus many more not named); at least ten concubines to keep house; one daughter mentioned by name and 21 known sons, including two infants who died. Six of the sons are named with stories about them. Four of his sons were by Bathsheba; not including the baby that died. His daughter, Tamar was raped by her half-brother Amnon. Then her brother, Absolom killed Amnon. Absolom tried to take the throne from his brother Solomon while his father lay on his death bed. Absolom was killed by his cousin, Joab. Solomon kills his elder brother, Adonijah when he attempts a political power play. This is just one slice of the story. Complicated. (So, if I got some of this out of order you will understand why). And, yet David was known as a man after God’s own heart. Even when he finds out his son Absolom’s intentions in today’s passage, he is able to give sage advice to Solomon to walk in the ways of God if he wants to have a good life. These words jump off the page given the circumstances. But, that is what happens in the messiness of life. David was no stranger to serious mistakes and missteps. He wasn’t a perfect man and he certainly didn’t have a perfect family! While many people have trouble with their children, no one has this much trouble. Our families aren’t perfect. What might happen if we turned to God in the midst of the mess and focused on what we could control? We can’t control our children even when we work very hard to direct their steps. But, we can be strong and courageous because we know God is with us, especially when we are determined to walk in God’s ways. We can weather the storm through heartbreak and lost hopes and dreams even in the midst of pain knowing our God remains with us.
At the end of his life, King David, gave one last charge to Solomon (v. 4). Like any father, he hoped that Solomon wouldn’t make the same mistakes. It’s good advice for Solomon who would go on to have a long reign. It’s also good advice for us.
Prayer: Loving God, we give thanks that you are willing to walk with us through the trials of life. Help us admit our mistakes, face our fears and know that you still love us. May we support one another as we seek to follow in God’s ways in the good times and in the bad. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].