Realizing his own avoidance or possibly forgetfulness, David rises to the occasion here and finally proclaims the new king. We see a climax in this reading as the “true” succession will now take place. David’s other son, Adonijah, will soon learn he jumped the gun and is not the rightful heir to the throne. After all, it is God who gifted the people with a king. It was up to God who was “up next.” David obediently sets up Solomon to be the next king.
David said to his wife, Bathsheba, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has rescued me from every danger, your son Solomon will be the next king and will sit on my throne this very day, just as I vowed to you before the Lord, the God of Israel.” David doesn’t waste any time. He knows he needs to take fast action before the people desert him again and follow Adonijah. It is Solomon’s time to shine.
I thought it interesting that some of the ones closest to David aren’t claiming God as “theirs.” Benaiah said, “May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, decree that it happen.” And then Benaiah takes is a step farther and even prays to the “God of his lord the king” by saying, “And may the Lord be with Solomon as he has been with you, my lord the king, and may he make Solomon’s reign even greater than yours!”
What do you make of that? Anything significant?
If nothing else, those close to David certainly noticed that God was powerful and had blessed David’s rule as king with protection. God has a habit of doing that — protecting his obedient children! That doesn’t mean nothing bad will ever happen or that we’ll be perfect and sinless. It does mean that we are never alone. God walks with us through it all.
How do you see God when you feel like the walls are closing in? Do you ever look to creation or call up a trusted friend? Sometimes a fresh viewpoint, whether it’s strictly a change of scenery or a trusted word from a Godly friend, is exactly what we need. David was certainly thankful for his network for bringing a situation to his attention that needed to be handled.
David was pleased with what he had pulled off in the final hour. I wonder what made Solomon special enough to David for him to be named the true successor. He wasn’t the oldest. But he was the son of Bathsheba who became his wife as the result of a horribly sinful set of circumstances. Did that give David a special bond with Solomon? Did David love Bathsheba the most of all his other wives?
My musings don’t really matter in terms of the big picture of this story. It’s pretty black and white. David is king, and when he picks the next king he chooses his son, Solomon. Period. What must Solomon be thinking? Is he as power hungry as his two brothers who unsuccessfully self-promoted themselves to king?
Looking back on the day, David is feeling pretty good. “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who today has chosen a successor to sit on my throne while I am still alive to see it.” Think of the enormous weight off his shoulders. He can finally relax and know that the people he has been leading for so long will be in good hands. Now he’ll be praying that Solomon leans into the same respect for God that David has lived by.
We can all hope the best for our children. We do our best to model faithful living. Sometimes the busyness of life gets in the way and our kids are caught in the trap of being busy right along with us grown-ups. More times than not, our kids are way busier than we ever thought of being, and it’s all we can do to just keep up!
It’s in those times we realize we’re not in the season of succession. We are in the season of being good stewards and teachers. I think that I’m in the season of succession. My kids are all grown, and they are starting families of their own. The circle of life from “The Lion King” movie is a great visual for me.
Enjoy your season!
Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for all the blessings I see around me in my life. Your provision is always perfect. When I need encouragement, it comes. When I need a kick in the rear, it comes. When I need to feel loved, I feel your embrace. Thank you for always knowing what’s best for me. Help me to lean and listen, enjoying this season of life I am in. In Jesus’ name. Amen.