Just before King David had died, he had given his son Solomon some direct orders regarding a few things which he either wanted taken care of, or continually kept in view, with respect to certain individuals. Some were to be shown kindness, and some not…
“Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war in peacetime, and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet. Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace.” – 1 Kings 2:5-6 (NKJV)
2) The sons of Barzillai the Gileadite…
“But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother.” – 1 Kings 2:7 (NKJV)
3) And, Shimei…
“And see, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.” – 1 Kings 2:8-9, (NKJV)
Now, I’m going to assume that it’s not uncommon for a father (who knows that he is about to die) to give instructions to his children regarding how they should act towards certain people who had had an impact (in one form or another) upon their father’s life. Whether David’s instructions regarding Joab and Shimei where justifiable or not, I’m not going to get into. However, I’m sure that if the Lord gives me the opportunity to address my children before I die, I’m sure that I might also want to remind them of some people who deserved special attention or respect by them, since I would no longer be around to give such myself. With that said, I can certainly understand why David would give Solomon direct commands regarding specific people. He had obviously thought that these things needed to be adhered to by his son.
Prove Yourself a Man
What I would like to focus on is what David had said to Solomon just prior to these instructions regarding certain individuals. David’s opening allocation contains something which we (Christians) can all glean from. It’s how Solomon would prove himself a man…
1 Kings 2:1-4 (NKJV)
Now the days of David drew near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying: “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the Lord may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’”
David outlined for Solomon how being a man is proven. It’s by obeying the Lord…
“…keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses…”
Prove Yourself a Christian
The advice which David gave to Solomon (about how to prove that he was a man by obeying God) is synonymous with how the Christian is to prove themselves to be a Christian.
How do I know this to be true?
Look at what John wrote…
1 John 2:3-5 (NKJV)
“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Just as Solomon was to prove himself a man by keeping what Moses had written, the Christian is to prove themselves a Christian by keeping what Jesus had commanded…
John 14:15 (NKJV)
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
May we all prove the same…
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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