1 Kings 1:1-4 – Growing Old

Read 1 Kings 1:1-4

A gray-haired couple walking away from camera with back packs, holding hands

As we approach 1 Kings, it will help if we remember this is history. It’s not just historical facts, figures, and events either. Many people may question whether it’s relevant to us today. After all, these are battles fought long ago in a land far away (for most of us). The book focuses on its first audience and their orientation to God. For us, let’s enjoy the storytelling!

These first few chapters will close out the story of King David. For more on David’s life story, refer to 1 and 2 Samuel. In this passage, we see a very old and fragile King David. Having just spent some time in a nursing home recently with my father, I can just imagine how hard it is for the people to see David declining in this way. Once a mighty warrior, yet always a man seeking after God.

Our own bodies are showing signs of aging every day. Maybe it’s wrinkles around the eyes – you know those smile lines. There are a lot of products on the market these days to help with anti-aging skin. We also see a huge trend of fitness outlets and classes, whether in person or online. It seems we don’t want to grow old.

But our bodies will continue to age. We’re only temporary residents of this place called earth. Jesus left to prepare our eternal home years ago. Jesus promised in John 14:1-3, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” Think of it. We will always be with Jesus.

We also see in our reading the importance of caring for our elderly. His advisers believed that a beautiful young virgin would be just what David needed to keep him warm. Lest there be any doubt whether David would take on the role of “dirty old man” by taking advantage of his position to seduce the young beauty, Scriptures calls it out and makes it very clear. That’s how I read the passage, but I understand that some scholars would say this was a nice way of saying David was sterile and unable to perform. That has a bigger impact when it puts into question David’s “strength” and “power.”

Think of the honor that young girl would have felt. Of all the women in the kingdom, she had been chosen to help the king spend his last days by making him comfortable. I did wonder what happened to all of David’s wives and concubines. I suppose they were up in age as well. Did they have a handsome young man coming to lay with them? Fair is fair, right?

Surely, we see that David’s advisors still had David’s best interests in mind. It was their duty to make sure David was well enough to function until he makes it official who his successor will be. I’m sure the sons were chomping at the bit wondering what is taking David so long.

David’s legacy has been promised by God. You’ll recall the day David was anointed king while still a young boy. We read in 1 Samuel 16, “from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” David not only made a mark on history by being an amazing king, but he was also a beautiful poet and musician. His many psalms continue to speak to our hearts in times of joy, fear, trouble, or strife.

We don’t need to worry about growing old. Instead, we should be looking at how we, too, can leave our legacy or mark on the world. What will people say about you when you’re gone? Who are you spending time with and nurturing in the faith? A legacy of faith is certainly one we can all work toward.

Take some time today to think about the contribution you have made to your family, your community, and/or your friends. It’s not too late to be used by God in a powerful way. Ask him.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray … 
Father God, I know that you are there cheering me on and are my biggest fan! I treasure my relationship with you and look forward to the direction you take me in this life. Help me in finding my way so that I can leave my own legacy of faithfulness that will speak to the hearts of those who come behind me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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