David has concluded his part in all that he could do for the House of the Lord. It is Solomon’s turn. He is made Israel’s next king a second time.
This has got to be the shortest synopsis of Solomon’s reign in the Bible. His whole time on the throne is summed up in one verse; verse 25. But he didn’t get to verse 25 without the preceding few verses.
In 1 Kings 1 we read the story of Solomon being anointed as king just in time to keep his brother Adonijah from stealing the throne. At the time, Solomon did not appear before the leaders of all the tribes. He was anointed by Zadok the priest in the presence of Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites and the Pelethites. This was the group that shouted “Long like King Solomon” (1 Kings 1:39b). They were the ones rejoicing. I have no doubt that the people in the towns around them joined in with the rejoicing but the rest of Israel was absent.
Not so this day. David stands before the whole assembly and pronounces Solomon to be king in his place. And ALL Israel accepts this passing of the throne. “All the leaders and the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon” (verse 24).
This was an important ceremony for the nation. David’s sons had been known to try and assert their own right to the throne, even to trying to take it by force from his hands. David wanted NO uncertainty or dissention left with regard to the throne. GOD had chosen Solomon for this job. David proudly proclaimed that when he stood with him before the people and told of his task. Now he had Solomon anointed in the presence of the people AFTER the people agreed and pledged their loyalty.
The peoples’ pledge showed that Solomon didn’t TAKE the throne from David but was GIVEN it by God, David and the people. He was the NEXT rightful ruler of Israel. He is not the king yet. He is anointed as “prince for the Lord” (verse 22c). He will not fully step into the title of king until David dies. This anointing ensures the seamless passing of leadership and loyalty.
Another anointing took place that day. Zadok was anointed as priest. Zadok and Abiathar was co-high priests during the reign of David but Abiathar’s supporting of Adonijah ended that shared role. One of the acts of Solomon was to remove Abiathar from this role permanently. Solomon didn’t kill Abiathar for his actions but he did have him stripped of all power and place in the priesthood. Zadok is anointed as high priest alongside Solomon in the presence of all the assembly. No confusion, misunderstanding or dissention left in this office either.
So let’s jump back to my first observation of today’s text; the short synopsis. “And the Lord made Solomon very great in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel” (verse 25).
This looks like a wonderful epitaph to have spoken about you. There is no hint at the sin that would plague Solomon during his reign. There is no mention of the wisdom God bestowed on him. And there is no mention of his ultimate relationship with the Lord. With all the wonder in these words, I would rather have the short words spoken about David spoken about me; He was a man after God’s own heart. Even centuries after David’s death, Dr. Luke quotes the Lord by saying, “I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13:22b). More than ANYTHING I ever do or say, THIS is what I would want said about me. THIS would be the sum of my life I want remembered.
Father God, I KNOW I am no David. I have made many mistakes in my life. I know he did too. But You used him in ways I can never be used. I have NO desire to be used as You used him. But I want to be a woman You can say is a woman after Your own heart. A heart that loves You and Your people. A woman unafraid to proclaim You as my God. A woman who judges her actions by Your word. A woman who withholds her hand from sin. And a woman who turns to You EVERY TIME I do sin and seeks Your forgiveness.
A tender heart towards You, a willing spirit to do whatever You set before me, and a discerning spirit to KNOW Your voice. The words I LONG to hear YOU speak are; “Well done good and faithful servant.”
I wonder if Solomon heard those words in the end. For all his wisdom, he forgot the wisest lesson of ALL; faithfulness to You. But that is in Your hands to judge, not mine.