Still Time to Parent

1 Kings 1-2 and Psalm 37, 71 & 94

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Today we begin the book of 1st Kings.  We are just about to the end of the kings anointed by Samuel.  Yes, David died at the end of 2nd Samuel…but the author of Kings begins with some more details from the end of David’s life before he spends the first half of the book on the reign of Solomon.  Unfortunately, I am not altogether impressed with this final picture of the man after God’s own heart.

And, it starts with his parenting.  Now, I have never been a ruler of a country, much less, the ruler of a country 3,000 years ago.  So, it is easy for me to pass judgment on a life I have never lived and one that seems so far removed from mine.  But perhaps we can learn a little something from David’s troubles to help us be better parents – as well as improved spiritual parents.

So, at this point David is old (about 70 years old) and the kingdom will be handed down to his son to reign.  Only trouble is – which son?  Earlier Absalom had tried to take over the throne – but that didn’t end too well for him.  David has said that Solomon will be the son to rule.  But, his son Adonijah wants to mix things up and come out on top instead.  So, Adonijah puts together his cheering squad and cabinet – including his dad’s formerly faithful army general and priest – and announces his kingship.

The author of Kings is not nearly so removed from David as I am and does not exactly point the finger at David, but merely hints (with a note in parenthesis) as to a potential weakness found in David’s parenting style.  The writer explains, in parenthesis, “(His father had never interfered with him by asking, ‘Why do you behave as you do?’)”  How many times do we as parents THINK that of our children?  And, perhaps we outright asked that a lot when they were younger, “What are you doing?”  But as they grow up and we lose control, or hand control over bit by bit as they get closer and closer to independence, do we too often not “interfere” and ask the sometimes difficult question.  Obviously the author here believes that if David had started an open and honest dialogue with his son about his behavior earlier on, this sad story of rebellion may have been avoided.

Perhaps you are not a parent, at least not yet.  If you are a young adult what can you learn from David and Adonijah?  Is there a time you desired communication with your parents but didn’t get the direction or reprimand you later thought could be helpful?  You can be the one to start the dialogue if they haven’t. What could have happened in our story had Adonijah come to David to seek his advice?   Or, are you frustrated with “too much” interfering and questioning?  Remember it comes from a deep love for you and desire to see the best for you – and the whole kingdom.

And, then how can this lesson be applied to us as spiritual children and parents today?  Who can you mentor in their Christian walk?  How can you better prepare yourself for a conversation that might one day have to start with, “Why do you behave as you do?”  Sometimes, love interferes.  And, when you are on the receiving end, remember some of those great Proverbs from Solomon that we get to read next week!

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. – Proverbs 12:1

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.  Proverbs 15:32

 

Marcia Railton

Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+1-2%2C+Psalm+37%2C+71%2C+94&version=NIV

Tomorrow’s reading will be Psalm 119:1-88 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

 

Brother Against Brother (2 Kings 1-2)

Thursday, October 27

Sherry Alcumbrack

As we read these chapters, we may just decide our families are not so bad. So far we have had rape and attempted murder in the family of King David. Now, one of his older sons decides to make himself king before David dies and passes it on to his choice, Solomon. Adonijah proclaims himself king and even gets some of David’s advisors to go along with it. He had a celebration but did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, one of the mighty men of David, or Solomon. Nathan went to Bathsheba and warned her. She went to King David and reminded him that he had promised that Solomon would sit on the throne as king. So David did as he had promised and made Solomon the next king of Israel. As you can imagine, this did not sit well with Adonijah. After Solomon is made king, Adonijah was executed for his wicked behavior.

As the death of King David draws near, this is what he instructs Solomon. He said to follow these instructions “so that he might prosper in everything that he did and wherever he turned.”

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As we continue to read in Kings we will soon see that some of the kings followed these instructions and led pretty peaceful lives while the evil kings had all sorts of trouble during their reigns. If we follow these instructions our lives could also be so much more trouble free. We would still have trouble, but some of the trouble that we face is due to foolish decisions that we make when we don’t follow the instructions that God has set before us. He did not make these laws to keep us from having fun, but to benefit us. One of the major themes of the first books of the Bible has been that the Israelites, and us today, have to make a decision. We have a choice to make. In Deuteronomy, Moses said: “Choose life and blessings or death and destruction.” Joshua said “Choose you this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”  Here King David is passing this lesson down to Solomon. In Deuteronomy, it tells us to write these instructions on our heart, to talk to our children when we are sitting in our house, when we are walking with them, when we lie down, and when we rise up. Basically, we need to talk about the instructions that God handed down to us in every aspect of our lives. He gave Moses the 10 commandments for us to follow. They all deal with respecting and loving God and others.

In the New Testament, Jesus says that the two most important commandments are to love God and love others. When we understand these commandments, we will be living a life after God’s heart like his faithful servant David.

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