Read 1 Kings 1: 1-4
Read an introduction to 1-2 Kings: https://www.esv.org/resources/esv-global-study-bible/introduction-to-1-2-kings/
· VV. 1-4 – a strange solution to the problem of being cold, and surely an even stranger way to start a book! What’s your take on it?
· V. 4 “to know” a woman is to have sexual relations with her. There’s a lot to be said for the insight contained in and the implications of this expression.
· VV. 1-4 – I think this little account is meant to describe how decrepit David had become. So, a book that will impress on its readers the weakness of the Israelite monarchy begins with a vignette of weakness of the once-vital king.
· Our King, David’s greatest Descendant, has white hair (Revelation 1:14), the great symbol of hard-won wisdom, but no vitality has been given up (1:14 b) to gain that experience. Jesus is old and wise andsparkling with life. Today, we pray in His name!
Read 1 Kings 1: 6-27
· V. 5 – The first step to becoming a king is to put on a king-sized show. People have always been prone to accept style over substance.
· V. 6 – The writer of Kings pins some of the blame for Adonijah’s character on his father, David. It seems that with all his warrior courage, David didn’t have the gumption to curb his son. Fathers, do your job.
· V. 11 – Nathan saves the day…again. What other did he?
· V. 15 – Why do you think the author adds these parenthetical details that are unconnected to the current problem?
· Why this two-stage design to press David into action? One has the feeling that a) David didn’t know what was happening with Adonijah and b) he might not have had the focus to respond if it weren’t for hearing from both Bathsheba and then Nathan. Contrast that with our King, whose eyes are a flame of fire! He’s not one needing to be motivated.
Read 1 Kings 1: 28-53
· V. 29 – I LOVE this description of God that seems to spring easily into David’s mind: who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity. David looked back and saw many troubles…and just as many rescues from trouble.
· V. 35 – Over Israel and Judah – signs of a little crack in the realm. Apparently these were already distinguished from one other.
· VV. 38–40 – Arrayed against Adonijah’s signs of success (1:5-10) come Solomon’s even weightier signs of success. Very interesting.
· V. 42 – Adonijah, like his older brother Absalom (2 Samuel 15:3), seems to be an inveterate flatterer.
· V. 50 – Like rats on a sinking ship! See Proverbs 19:4.
Read 1 Kings 2:1 - 25
· VV. 1-4 – Stick close to the Word of God. A dying father could give worse advice to his son.
· VV. 5- 9 – The Bible Project faults David for the fact that, in some of his last words, he’s turning Solomon against his (David’s) old enemies. Do you agree with this criticism of David?
· VV. 13-18 – Adonijah is one slick character! What do you think he’s after here?
· V. 19 – See Proverbs 4:3
· V. 25 – Why did Solomon react so violently? Do you think he overreacted? (Like it or not, the authors of Scripture narratives hardly ever weigh in on the morality of the things they’re recording.)
· Whatever your opinion is on Solomon’s execution of his rival half-brother, it’s true that a kingly virtue is to UNDERSTAND. To look below the surface of things and look down the road. Do you have a King who understands? What will you ask Him for today? (or ask His Father in His name).
1 Kings 2: 26-46
· V. 27 – Wow! at least 150 years after that word! The sure justice of God never fades away.
· V. 37 – another one dies after crossing the brook, Kidron. Who?
· V. 40 – Put on your FBI profiler hat: What was Shimei thinking/ not thinking when he went after his servants?
· V. 46 – The beginning of Solomon’s reign has been tumultuous, violent. Bad guys, who’ve been there all along, have around this transition time shown their color and have been forcibly removed from the picture. And others have taken their place. Rough transitions sometimes make way for bright futures.
Read 1 Kings 3:1 – 9
· V. 1 – After the dust of transition has settled, Solomon’s first move doesn’t inspire…and portends some significant problems. But hold on…there’s a lot of good that’ll happen before that!
· V. 2 – The “high places” were worship sites at higher elevations. Part of what made them problematic is that they were imitations of the surrounding pagan worship, and the God of Israel is holy.
· V. 5 – An example of God working with what is…He comes to Solomon as he’s worshiping at the high place.
· V. 6 – Go back and glance over all the extended monologues of Solomon’s to this point: does it strike you how often he mentions his father? Proverbs 1-9 has a lot of this too. Can we learn any lessons here?
· VV. 6-9 – Solomon realizes what an important role he inhabits…and just as much he’s aware that he’s not up to the task. As we see, God works with people who discern those twin truths.
Read 1 Kings 3: 10-28
· V. 15 – Did you notice this? the first evidence of Solomon’s newly conferred wisdom shows up in good worship choices: at Jerusalem before the ark.
· VV. 16-28 – A justly famous story, but it’s a weird decision of the author to introduce Solomon’s wisdom by an account that includes prostitutes and the threat of a sawed-in-half baby!
· V. 28 – Think about it: Specifically, what about this episode has Israel standing in awe of Solomon’s wisdom?