King David is dead. Long live King Solomon.
David was king for forty years, many of them turbulent. And on his death bed, he gave his young son words of advice. We’re not sure how old Solomon was when he became king, but some scholars believe he might have been as young as twelve years. Others think he was in his twenties. I tend to go with the second opinion.
Either way, David told him to stay close to God and follow his commands so that his kingdom would be lasting.
And then David give Solomon some directions about some specific people. Joab, who had killed innocent men; the family of Barzillai, who had given David shelter when he was being pursued by Absalom; and Shimei, who had cursed David even though he knew that David was God’s anointed king.
Because of our limited time, I’m not going to talk about these folks, but about Adonijah’s request to have Abishag the Shunammite as his wife.
Why did Solomon have Adonijah killed for this request?
You remember that Adonijah had tried to snake the throne away from Solomon before David died, right? Do you also remember that Abishag was the young girl that had been brought to David to keep him warm? She was his concubine. Sort of a second level wife. We’re told in 1 Kings chapter 1 that David did not have sexual relations with her, but she was his wife and they had lain together.
Adonijah made this request as a play for the throne yet again. He thought that if he could have one of David’s wives as his, this would give him a step up to usurp the throne.
The fact that Bathsheba didn’t understand this play or that she didn’t just reject Adonijah’s request out of hand might be that she didn’t consider Abishag a wife of David because the marriage hadn’t been consummated, or maybe because she thought this would be a way to assuage Adonijah’s disappointment over losing the throne. His approach to her had been as if he accepted his fate and merely wanted Abishag as a sort of consolation prize.
But Solomon saw right through Adonijah’s deception. As long as Adonijah lived, Solomon was in danger, so he ordered Adonijah’s death that very day.
Solomon was God’s chosen king. These were formative years for Israel. God’s plan for Solomon and his chosen people was going to be fulfilled. Had Adonijah accepted God’s will, his fate would have been different, but he chose his own path which was diametrically opposed to God.
What do you think?