SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1 Kings 1:1-2:46
1:1 King David was very old; even when they covered him with blankets, he could not get warm. 2 His servants advised him, “A young virgin must be found for our master, the king, to take care of the king’s needs and serve as his nurse. She can also sleep with you and keep our master, the king, warm.” 3 So they looked through all Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The young woman was very beautiful; she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king was not intimate with her.
5 Now Adonijah, son of David and Haggith, was promoting himself, boasting, “I will be king!” He managed to acquire chariots and horsemen, as well as 50 men to serve as his royal guard. 6 (Now his father had never corrected him by saying, “Why do you do such things?” He was also very handsome and had been born right after Absalom.) 7 He collaborated with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported him. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s elite warriors did not ally themselves with Adonijah. 9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened steers at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, as well as all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the elite warriors, or his brother Solomon.
11 Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Has it been reported to you that Haggith’s son Adonijah has become king behind our master David’s back? 12 Now let me give you some advice as to how you can save your life and your son Solomon’s life. 13 Visit King David and say to him, ‘My master, O king, did you not solemnly promise your servant, “Surely your son Solomon will be king after me; he will sit on my throne”? So why has Adonijah become king?’ 14 While you are still there speaking to the king, I will arrive and verify your report.”
15 So Bathsheba visited the king in his private quarters. (The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) 16 Bathsheba bowed down on the floor before the king. The king said, “What do you want?” 17 She replied to him, “My master, you swore an oath to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Solomon your son will be king after me and he will sit on my throne.’ 18 But now, look, Adonijah has become king! But you, my master the king, are not even aware of it! 19 He has sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the commander of the army, but he has not invited your servant Solomon. 20 Now, my master, O king, all Israel is watching anxiously to see who is named to succeed my master the king on the throne. 21 If a decision is not made, when my master the king is buried with his ancestors, my son Solomon and I will be considered state criminals.”
22 Just then, while she was still speaking to the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 23 The king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” Nathan entered and bowed before the king with his face to the floor. 24 Nathan said, “My master, O king, did you announce, ‘Adonijah will be king after me; he will sit on my throne’? 25 For today he has gone down and sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, the army commanders, and Abiathar the priest. At this moment they are having a feast in his presence, and they have declared, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But he did not invite me—your servant—or Zadok the priest, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your servant Solomon. 27 Has my master the king authorized this without informing your servants who should succeed my master the king on his throne?”
28 King David responded, “Summon Bathsheba!” She came and stood before the king. 29 The king swore an oath: “As certainly as the Lord lives (he who has rescued me from every danger), 30 I will keep today the oath I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: ‘Surely Solomon your son will be king after me; he will sit in my place on my throne.’” 31 Bathsheba bowed down to the king with her face to the floor and said, “May my master, King David, live forever!”
32 King David said, “Summon Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king, 33 and he told them, “Take your master’s servants with you, put my son Solomon on my mule, and lead him down to Gihon. 34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet will anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet and declare, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then follow him up as he comes and sits on my throne. He will be king in my place; I have decreed that he will be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada responded to the king: “So be it! May the Lord God of my master the king confirm it! 37 As the Lord is with my master the king, so may he be with Solomon, and may he make him an even greater king than my master King David!”
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites went down, put Solomon on King David’s mule, and led him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took a horn filled with olive oil from the tent and poured it on Solomon; the trumpet was blown and all the people declared, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 All the people followed him up, playing flutes and celebrating so loudly they made the ground shake.
41 Now Adonijah and all his guests heard the commotion just as they had finished eating. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he asked, “Why is there such a noisy commotion in the city?” 42 As he was still speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in, for an important man like you must be bringing good news.” 43 Jonathan replied to Adonijah: “No! Our master King David has made Solomon king. 44 The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites and they put him on the king’s mule. 45 Then Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed him king in Gihon. They went up from there rejoicing, and the city is in an uproar. That is the sound you hear. 46 Furthermore, Solomon has assumed the royal throne. 47 The king’s servants have even come to congratulate our master King David, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon more famous than you and make him an even greater king than you!’ Then the king leaned on the bed 48 and said this: ‘The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because today he has placed a successor on my throne and allowed me to see it.’”
49 All of Adonijah’s guests panicked; they jumped up and rushed off their separate ways. 50 Adonijah feared Solomon, so he got up and went and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Solomon was told, “Look, Adonijah fears you; see, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘May King Solomon solemnly promise me today that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’” 52 Solomon said, “If he is a loyal subject, not a hair of his head will be harmed, but if he is found to be a traitor, he will die.” 53 King Solomon sent men to bring him down from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon told him, “Go home.”
2:1 When David was close to death, he told Solomon his son: 2 “I am about to die. Be strong and become a man! 3 Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you by following his instructions and obeying his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish, 4 and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me, ‘If your descendants watch their step and live faithfully in my presence with all their heart and being, then,’ he promised, ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’
5 “You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. During peacetime he struck them down as if in battle; when he shed their blood, he stained the belt on his waist and the sandals on his feet. 6 Do to him what you think is appropriate, but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death.
7 “Treat fairly the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, because they helped me when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.
8 “Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down with the sword.’ 9 But now don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him; make sure he has a bloody death.”
10 Then David passed away and was buried in the City of David. 11 David reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years, and in Jerusalem thirty-three years.
12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his royal authority was firmly solidified.
13 Haggith’s son Adonijah visited Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He answered, “Yes.” 14 He added, “I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine and all Israel considered me king. But then the kingdom was given to my brother, for the Lord decided it should be his. 16 Now I’d like to ask you for just one thing. Please don’t refuse me.” She said, “Go ahead and ask.” 17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon if he would give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife, for he won’t refuse you.” 18 Bathsheba replied, “That’s fine; I’ll speak to the king on your behalf.”
19 So Bathsheba visited King Solomon to speak to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to greet her, bowed to her, and then sat on his throne. He ordered a throne to be brought for the king’s mother, and she sat at his right hand. 20 She said, “I would like to ask you for just one small favor. Please don’t refuse me.” He said, “Go ahead and ask, my mother, for I would not refuse you.” 21 She said, “Allow Abishag the Shunammite to be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him? Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!”
23 King Solomon then swore an oath by the Lord, “May God judge me severely, if Adonijah does not pay for this request with his life! 24 Now, as certainly as the Lord lives (he who made me secure, allowed me to sit on my father David’s throne, and established a dynasty for me as he promised), Adonijah will be executed today!” 25 King Solomon then sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed Adonijah.
26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your property in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but today I will not kill you because you did carry the ark of the Sovereign Lord before my father David and you suffered with my father through all his difficult times.” 27 Solomon removed Abiathar from being a priest for the Lord, fulfilling the Lord’s message that he had pronounced against the family of Eli in Shiloh.
28 When the news reached Joab (for Joab had supported Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom), he ran to the tent of the Lord and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 29 When King Solomon heard that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord and was right there beside the altar, he ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, “Go, strike him down.” 30 When Benaiah arrived at the tent of the Lord, he said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’” But he replied, “No, I will die here!” So Benaiah sent word to the king and reported Joab’s reply. 31 The king told him, “Do as he said! Strike him down and bury him. Take away from me and from my father’s family the guilt of Joab’s murderous, bloody deeds. 32 May the Lord punish him for the blood he shed; behind my father David’s back he struck down and murdered with the sword two men who were more innocent and morally upright than he—Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33 May Joab and his descendants be perpetually guilty of their shed blood, but may the Lord give perpetual peace to David, his descendants, his family, and his dynasty.” 34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and executed Joab; he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 35 The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada to take his place at the head of the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest to take Abiathar’s place.
36 Next the king summoned Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, but you may not leave there to go anywhere. 37 If you ever do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die. You will be responsible for your own death.” 38 Shimei said to the king, “My master the king’s proposal is acceptable. Your servant will do as you say.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.
39 Three years later two of Shimei’s servants ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Look, your servants are in Gath.” 40 So Shimei got up, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to find his servants; Shimei went and brought back his servants from Gath. 41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had then returned, 42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “You will recall that I made you take an oath by the Lord, and I solemnly warned you, ‘If you ever leave and go anywhere, know for sure that you will certainly die.’ You said to me, ‘The proposal is acceptable; I agree to it.’ 43 Why then have you broken the oath you made before the Lord and disobeyed the order I gave you?” 44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You are well aware of the way you mistreated my father David. The Lord will punish you for what you did. 45 But King Solomon will be empowered, and David’s dynasty will endure permanently before the Lord.” 46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada who went and executed Shimei.
So Solomon took firm control of the kingdom.