Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Searching for the Joy - 24

1Ki 1:40 - "And all the people came up after him, piping with pipes, and they were glad with great joy, so that the earth was shaking with the sound."

King David had become ill and was dying. David was so sick that Adonijah was planning to userp the throne without waiting for David to die figuring that David could not possibly oppose him. But King David had another plan. He quickly gathered Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada and instructed them to proclaim his son Solomon king. So in the presence of the people they anointed Solomon and proclaimed him king and the people responded with such an outburst of joy that it literally shook the earth.

Where’s the Joy
“Long live the King” I saw the scene in a newsreel — people shouting, waving, blowing noisemakers. Soon there will be another shaking: Heb 12:26 “Whose voice was the cause of the shaking of the earth; but now he has made an oath, saying, There will be still one more shaking, not only of the earth, but of heaven.” When the king appears I’m hoping to be shaken but not stirred. Well maybe a little of both.


Richard said...

This passage has always bothered me. I thought the book of Leviticus explicitly forbade showing preference to a "favored" wife.

What happened, happened. But I've often wondered whether these passages carry with it any kind of indication as to what was right in the eyes of the Lord.

Michael said...

Sorry Richard I can't find that refernce.
There's one in Deuteronomy 21 about favoring the son of a favored wife but I don't see the connection.

Richard said...

Umm... you DID find the reference in Deuteronomy 21. The rights of the firstborn are not to be transferred to the son of a favored wife.

My memory is really sketchy but I seem to recall that Adonijah was the 4th son of David. The three that outranked him were Absalom, Amnon, and someone else I forget (but definitely not Solomon). Absalom killed Amnon over the Tamar incident, and Absalom himself died in the battle where David reclaimed his throne. I think the Bible is unclear as to what happened to the third son.

From Deuteronomy 21, Adonijah is clearly next in line to the throne unless the mystery third son shows up alive and well. Bathsheba holds David to an earlier promise which David apparently had no right to make. Solomon then goes on to execute Joab and Adonijah.

Overall, David did many great things and a few despicable things. Despite his failures, we can rightly call him a man after the Lord's heart. Were his final actions over royal succession one of his many great achievements or one of his few failures?

Or am I just way out to lunch from the get go?

Michael said...

The choice may have had more to do with the content of their characters than who gave birth to them
Solomon was dear to the Lord
2Sa 12:24
And David gave comfort to his wife Bath-sheba, and he went in to her and had connection with her: and she had a son to whom she gave the name Solomon. And he was dear to the Lord.
Adonija was prideful
1 Kings 1:5
Then Adonijah, the son of Haggith, lifting himself up in pride, said, I will become king; and he made ready his carriages of war and his horsemen, with fifty runners to go before him.
Solomon was prefered by the prophet Nathan
1 Kings 1:11
Then Nathan said to Bath-sheba, the mother of Solomon, Has it not come to your ears that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has made himself king without the knowledge of David our lord?

Richard said...

Thanks Michael, what you say makes a lot of sense. Of course, now I'm having trouble with Deuteronomy 21. If you look at typically distinguishing characteristics (achievement, responsibility, independence, success, etc...) of first born children and things that this world glorifies you find quite a match.

But God seems to by-pass the firstborn of this world because he does not see the way we do. David and is chosen over his older brothers. Jason is favored over Esau. Abel is favored over Cain. The prodigal son and the older brother. Mary and Martha. Almost like the fairy tales where the youngest is not as rich or talented but instead shows kindness, humility, and virtue.

Dave King said...

Richard it's not clear that the Kingship was ever intended to be ruled by the laws of inheritance.

- Peace

Richard said...

Good point, Dave.

Given that the Lord tried to discourage Israel from having a King in the first place, I guess it's not suprising that the Law of Moses had no rules on the issue.

Trying to shoehorn succession to the throne into the rules for distributing the birthright when one had multiple wives (like kingship, a rather dubious biblical practice) might reduce the throne to a possession to be grabbed (like Adonijah treated it) rather than a role to be fulfilled as the Lord's servant.