Day 94 – Thru the Bible
Welcome to First Kings and we continue Psalms. Here’s a video that walks us through 1 & 2 Kings.
Video – Read Scripture: 1 & 2 Kings
1 Kings 1 – King David was old, and his earthly days were drawing to a close. It was time to anoint the next king of Israel, David’s successor. First Kings 1 presents two possible successors to David’s throne: Adonijah and Solomon.
Adonijah represented, at least in human terms, the most likely candidate. He was the oldest living male child, he was physically attractive, and he had the support of the leading political officials in the kingdom. Because of his status and position, Adonijah “exalted himself” and presumed to make himself David’s successor.
Solomon, on the other hand, lacked the credentials of his older brother. In fact, Solomon’s status as a royal son was rooted in scandal (2 Samuel 11–12). His mother had become a royal wife through David’s acts of adultery and murder. As such, Solomon’s claim to kingship was not based on his status or position as the rightful heir but rather on the promise of his father.
These two men represent a study in contrasts. Adonijah stood to inherit the kingdom according to worldly, external standards. Solomon, in contrast, would become king according to the promise of his father, by grace alone.
The choice of Solomon over Adonijah should not surprise us. Rather, it reminds us of the Lord’s choice of David over all of his older brothers. (1 Samuel 16:7).
However, the Lord’s choice of Solomon over Adonijah was not intended simply to subvert human expectations. Rather, the display of grace in Solomon’s life through this unmerited promise bore fruit. In the ancient world, a rival to the throne would have certainly been executed. But Solomon, who came to the throne by grace, exhibited grace to his brother, sending him home in peace.
As Believers, we too have becomes heirs to the kingdom of God not by our own qualifications but by grace because of God’s promise—in much the same way as Solomon inherited the kingship. Only those who know God’s grace can bear the fruit of grace in the lives of others. We love as we have been loved.
How do you allow yourself to receive this grace from God, so that you can extend it to others?
1 Kings 2 – As the representative head of a covenant nation, a king had a particularly important obligation of covenant obedience. Saul’s disobedience resulted in the destruction of his royal dynasty. David’s disobedience in the taking of a census resulted in the death of 70,000 men in Israel. Later, Solomon’s disobedience would divide the kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 11), and the disobedience of the kings who followed would eventually lead to the nation’s destruction and the exile of God’s people (2 Kings 17; 25).
A king’s obedience and the security of his people went hand-in-hand. Given this track record, our frequent despair in human leadership is not unwarranted.
When Believers worship Jesus as the “King of kings”, however, our despair turns to delight. What motivates such worship is the fact that Jesus was perfectly obedient, fulfilling all the kingly virtues detailed in 1 Kings 2:2–4. Additionally, our obedient King reigns eternally at the right hand of God the Father, securing unending blessing and security.
Ultimately, the flawed and temporary kingship presented to us through Israel’s kings shines the bright spotlight of contrast onto the eternal and flawless kingship of Jesus, reminding each of us why we worship Jesus as our King.
How do you enjoy worshiping the King?
1 Kings 3 – Without a doubt, this is one of the most remarkable passages in all of the Old Testament. The tale of Aladdin’s lamp pales in comparison! Here, the true and living God, the Creator of heaven and earth, stoops down and offers Solomon anything that his heart might have desired.
Solomon’s request for wisdom was certainly admirable, but it is even more important to note that he understood that the wisdom he needed to navigate life was from God. Apart from God’s provision, a blessed life would be unknowable—a point consistently reiterated in the wisdom literature of both the Old and New Testaments (Proverbs 2:6; James 1:5). Solomon’s request for wisdom embodied the important kingdom ethic that Jesus would later set before His disciples: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). And so it was. Solomon’s request was kingdom-centered, and God added to it (1 Kings 3:13–14).
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this account is Solomon’s description of what motivated his request for wisdom: the “steadfast love” of the Lord (twice in 1 Kings 3:6). Solomon’s humble request for wisdom was grounded in the reality that he had already received the greatest treasure in life—the steadfast love of his covenant Lord.
Those who seek first the kingdom of God are those who first realize that they have been made members of that kingdom by God’s grace. The same steadfast love of the Lord that Solomon experienced some three thousand years ago has been made ours, all through the work of the human embodiment of this steadfast love: Jesus Christ.
It could be a crushing weight to consider ourselves the agents of God’s grace. Who could bear such a burden? It is altogether freeing, however, when we recognize that we are simply the instruments through which God’s grace flows—and that we have His grace not because of our ability but because of our desperate need.
How do enjoy the freedom of God’s grace in your life?
How do you use that freedom to serve others?
Psalm 94 – In the hands of God, vengeance is just punishment for sins (Romans 12:19). But when believers petition God for justice, their anger is replaced with comfort (Ephesians 4:26). Comfort comes from the fact that God does not change, so we can wait for his justice (Hebrews 13:8–9). But waiting patiently means prayerfulness, not passivity (James 5:7–11).
While His children wait, God disciplines (teaches) them (Romans 8:25). His fatherly teaching includes allowing them to see the contrast between the misery of sin and the blessing of living by His “law” (Romans 7:12). Examples of this contrast include sinful entanglement versus “rest” (Hebrews 12:1–2), betrayal versus loyalty (Romans 11:2), and judgment versus vindication (Philippians 2:10–11).
No matter who deserts the believer, God will always be with him, and His presence supplies every need. When he is defenseless, God is the helper (2 Timothy 4:16–17). When he slips, God is his loving support (1 Samuel 20:3). When he is anxious, God is his consolation (2 Corinthians 1:3–5). And when he despairs of justice, God promises total war on wickedness at the Great Day (Revelation 11:18). God’s attributes perfectly match our need.
How do all these attributes find perfect fulfillment in Jesus? Hint: Hebrews 1:3.
What other thoughts or questions does today’s videos and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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