Manna for Today

 

Oaths, Kingdoms, Blood, and Death (1 Kings 2:13-46)

And now, as surely as the Lord lives—he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised—Adonijah shall be put to death today!” 25 So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died.  (1 Kings 2:24-25)

 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck down Joab and killed him, and he was buried at his home out in the country.  35 The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab’s position and replaced Abiathar with Zadok the priest.  (1 Kings 2:34-35)

The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the Lord will repay you for your wrongdoing. 45 But King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will remain secure before the Lord forever.” 46 Then the king gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down and he died.  The kingdom was now established in Solomon’s hands.  (1 Kings 2:44-46)

Learn it:

            We see throughout this section the Solomon takes his fathers words seriously and is ferociously loyal to the Law.  Any person who tries to go against the king the God has put in place is punishable by death.  In this passage we also see Solomon giving some of the people chances to stay alive.  Shimei he told not to leave Jerusalem, even though David thought he should be killed.  Solomon gave him a chance, an act of mercy. 

            We see that Solomon is starting out his reign as one committed to God and the Mosaic Law.  It might be bloody from our perspective, but he is being obedient to God and keep things in control.  The chapter ends with the author telling us that Solomon now has the kingdom of Israel in his hand.  He is seen as the new ruler. 

Live it:

            In this passage, we see that sin has consequences and the king is not afraid to act swiftly.  We see God exhibiting justice through King Solomon.  It should be a stark reminder to us of what we deserve for our sins.  In the throne in our hearts, we constantly try to seat ourselves there.  For doing that we deserve death.  Praise be to God, that he sent his Son to give us forgiveness and mercy.  We have received something that is totally undeserved.  Thank God today for the grace you have received and that he was willing to take our place.   


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The Next King is Chosen (1 Kings 1:28-53)

nZadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted,“Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.  (1 Kings 1:39-40)

At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. 50 But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Then Solomon was told, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’52 Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” 53 Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.”  (1 Kings 1:49-53)

Learn it:

            In this passage, we read about King David responding to the news of Adonijah trying to take the throne for himself.  He assembles his closest friends and leaders, and orders them to get Solomon and anoint him as king that night.  While Adonijah is having a banquet thinking he is going to be king they here a trumpet blow and find out that Solomon been made the king!  They are fearful because it was not unheard of back then for kings to kill their siblings that may pose a threat to their rule.  Adonijah for now is humble and shows no threat to King Solomon.

            One thing that is interesting is that God chooses a son that comes from King David’s wife Bathsheba.  She is someone that David should never have married.  Why would God choose a son that came about because of David’s sinfulness?  We will never know that answer fully, but we see God’s grace in action even when we do not deserve it. 

Live it:

            I think the big thing we see here is how God’s word will always reign true.  Solomon was not the oldest son and he came from King David’s disobedience to God’s commands.  Yet God, in his infinite wisdom, had a plan and purpose for Solomon.  We all have sin in our lives.  We have been disobedient to God, yet he still has a purpose for us.  He wants to use us to build his kingdom.  What situation do you need to trust God with in your life?  How can he use it in a way for his glory and power to be displayed?  


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The Fight for a Throne (1 Kings 1:1-27)

So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him. 16 Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king.  “What is it you want?” the king asked.  17 She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the Lord your God: ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’ 18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it. 19 He has sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, 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 Solomon your servant. 20 My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.”  (1 Kings 1:15-21)

We are going to be going through 1 Kings and I will be covering longer passages of Scripture, so I won’t be copying the full text into each devotion.  So, you may want to have a Bible handy to read through the full passage at some point. 

Learn it:

            In the book of 1 Kings, we find the history of Israel.  It reveals to us how politics and faith in God come together in a messy way with sinful leaders.  Yet, when things look hopeless, God is still in control guiding his people where he wants them.  In the opening chapter of 1 Kings, we see King David is old and his sons are beginning to fight for who will be king next.  His son Adonijah, takes the initiative and claims the throne for himself and throws himself a party making it seem like he is going to be king.  Word got to David’s wife Bathsheba and she plotted with Nathan, a prophet and close friend of King David, to make sure her son Solomon becomes the next king. 

            We are just looking at the beginning of this story where Bathsheba pleads before David that others are conspiring against his desires and if he does not act she will die along with Solomon.  They do not want David to appear weak and want his desires to be honored, which God also wants Solomon to be the next king of Israel.  We know this from 1 Chronicles 22:9-10, where God told David this. 

Live it: 

            Where there is power, there are people fighting to get it.  We see that in politics, people looking for the next promotion, and even in our churches some people want more influence and power.  In our own lives, we have some level of control.  When we see opportunities to gain more we need to pause and examine our motives.  Maybe God wants somebody else in that position?  That is a hard urge to fight, especially when we feel we have the talent, skills and it seems like we are the next in line.  These are some feelings that David’s son Adonijah felt.  But he did not go through the proper steps and took it for himself. 

            What roles in your life do you have power, or authority over people?  Are you using your place of position for good and the benefit of others?  Are there areas where maybe you need to step down because you rushed in and took it for yourself? 

 

            


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Paul’s Final Greetings (Eph. 6:21-24)

Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you

23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

Learn it:

            In the final verses, Paul wants to take care of some personal business.  Tychicus, who probably carried the letter from Rome to Ephesus, was sent to give a full report of what is going on in Paul’s life.  The purpose of this is to encourage them.  Then in verse 23 he hits on three Christian virtues that they should be displayed in their lives:  peace, love, and faith.  During this time where Jews and Gentiles becoming one in Christ, they need to have peace with one another.  The way they do that is through love that can only come from Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  That is what they must be focusing on. 

Then he ends the letter just like he began it (1:2) by referring to God’s grace.  He wants them to receive God’s grace that comes from someone who loves Jesus Christ with an “undying love”.  In another translation, it reads as “love incorruptible.”  The love we have for Jesus Christ should be pure and with the right motives.  Just as Christ has loved us we should return the same type of love to him. 

Live it:

            Though the letter of Ephesians we have covered a lot of ground.  The gospel as radically changed our lives by moving us from darkness to light.  We are no longer living in darkness but living in the light.  The death and resurrection of Christ has united all believers into one body!  We shouldn’t let ethnicity or cultural divisions keep us from loving one another.  Then we learned how we should live out our faith in everyday life.  Encouraging one another and loving each other well. 

 

            In his final greeting, Paul is trying to summarize things again.  Calling them to peace, love, and faith.  These are the three things that will allow us to be united with Christ and then live it out.  If your faith is strong in Christ, it will allow you to love other people well and by loving people we can live in peace.  For us to live in community we all need to have a deep, intimate relationship with God.  How well do you know Christ?


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Pastor’s Corner