Solomon Inherits the Kingdom

1 Kings

Solomon Inherits the Kingdom

July 9th, 1961 @ 7:30 PM

1 Kings 1

Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom. And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants: But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign? Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words. And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called. And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders. And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah. But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him? Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever. And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David. So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them. And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar? And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings. And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule: And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom. And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed. And also thus said the king, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it. And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way. And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword. And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.
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SOLOMON INHERITS THE KINGDOM

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Kings 1:32-40

7-9-61    7:30 p.m.

In these evening services, we are following the hand of God through these people of the Lord as God works out His elective purpose in the life of Israel and reaching down even to us today.  So tonight we begin the First Book of the Kings, and if you would like to turn to 1 Kings, do so now.  The First Book of the Kings, the First Book of the Kings chapter 1, verse 32, now read with me through verse 40.  We are going to speak tonight of Solomon as he inherits the kingdom.  Now you have the words Zadok, and Nathan, and Benaiah, and Jehoiada and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, so when you get to those words, just read them like you have known them all the days of your life.  “Hello there, Mr. Cherethite and Mr. Pelethite,” just like they are your bosom friends.  Now let us read it out loud together, everybody together, 1 Kings 1:32-40:

And King David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.  And they came before the king.

The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon.

And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save King Solomon.

Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the Lord God of my lord the king say so too.

As the Lord hath been with my lord the king, even so be He with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.

So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon King David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon.

And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon.  And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save King Solomon.

And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with sound of them.

[1 Kings 1:32-40]

And that is the anointing of King Solomon.

Now, the story in the Bible as it unfolds is this.  “Now King David was old and stricken in years” [1 Kings 1:1].  Such a change, even from the days of Moses, for when Moses was a one hundred and twenty years of age, his eye was not dim, nor his natural strength abated [Deuteronomy 34:7].  David is only seventy years of age, but apparently life had been so harsh and cruel and hard, that at seventy years of age his strength is gone.  He is wasted away.  By the way, apparently the whole life of those people there was like that.  There are only two of those kings that lived to be sixty years of age, and that was Solomon and Manasseh, out of all of the kings of Judah.  And we do not know whether even Solomon lived to be that old or not.

Their lives were cut off and apparently engaged in such a furious pace or the hardships were so great that they aged early.  So here is David, seventy years of age, stricken in years and so feeble that he cannot take care of himself.

So they sent servants throughout all of the coasts of Israel to find a beautiful virgin that she might be brought to nourish and to take care and to be close to the king.  You remember this girl they found in the little town of Shunem, a Shunammite by the name of Abishag, and she was the most beautiful virgin, the most beautiful young woman in all of the land [1 Kings 1:1-4].

So they brought her and placed her in the bosom of the king in order that he might have strength and might live [1 Kings 1:2].  But the king was too feeble.  And he was too aged.  And he was too decrepit.  And Adonijah, the eldest living son of David saw it.

Now, Amnon, the oldest boy of the king, was dead.  Absalom slew him [2 Samuel 13:28-29].  Chileab or Daniel, the second son of the king was dead.  And Absalom finally was slain [2 Samuel 18:9-15].  And Adonijah is the fourth boy and the eldest living.  And when Adonijah saw the feebleness of his father he said, “I will be king” [1 Kings 1:5].

Now Adonijah was like his half brother Absalom.  He was beautiful.  And he was personable.  And he was shrewd.  And he did these things in order to insure for himself the kingdom.  First, he did exactly like Absalom.  He got him chariots.  And he got him horses.  And he got him fifty men to run before him [1 Kings 1:5].  And Adonijah went over the land in all of his splendor and glory and beauty, winning the hearts of the people.  And the second thing he did, he won over to himself, and this is the most amazing thing that you could imagine, he won over to himself Joab the captain of the hosts, and Abiathar the high priest! [1 Kings 1:5-7].

When I read that my heart hurts because Joab did so much for David in building up the kingdom.  And Abiathar is the sole survivor of Saul’s terrible slaughter of the priests at Nob, when he slew Ahimelech the high priest, and all [eighty-five] of the priests and only Abiathar escaped [1 Samuel 22:18-20].  And through all of the days of the outlawry and the hardships of David, Abiathar is by his side, having in his hands the sacred ephod, with Urim and Thummim in order to guide David in his work.  And here, in his old age, Adonijah, Adonijah persuades Joab, the captain of the hosts, and Abiathar the high priest to cast their lot with him in this conspiracy to anoint Adonijah king over Israel [1 Kings 1:5-7].

You can hardly believe it!  Why do you think that happened?  The only thing I can find is this.  Benaiah, the head of the Cherethites and the Pelethites [2 Samuel 8:18]—the Cherethites and the Pelethites were to king David what you would say the Praetorian Guard was to the Roman Caesar or the Swiss Guard was to the kings of France.  They were a special troop.  They were men of great heroism and great courage and great devotion.  And these Pelethites and these Cherethites are under Benaiah.  And Benaiah is proving himself to be a mighty man of valor [2 Samuel 23:20].

Now, Joab had slain two men of whom he was jealous.  He slew Abner [2 Samuel 3:26-27].  And he slew Amasa [2 Samuel 20:9-10].  And it may have been that Joab looked with envy upon the growing prowess of Benaiah.  So he cast his lot in with Adonijah [1 Kings 1:5-7].

Now, Abiathar; why would Abiathar go after Adonijah in this conspiracy? [1 Kings 1:7].  The only thing that I can find is this.  Zadok, the young priest who is head of the house of Eleazar, the eldest son of Aaron [1 Chronicles 6:4-8], Zadok, this young priest, is popular; and the people love him; and the people follow him.  And David has illimitable confidence in him.  And Abiathar may have looked with an eye, green with envy and jealousy, on the young Zadok.  Isn’t that one of the most cruel and the most hurtful of all of the things you see in life?

Joab, captain of the hosts [2 Samuel 8:16; 1 Chronicles 11:6-8]; Abiathar, high priest; but instead of looking upon these young men—Benaiah, as he comes up, and Zadok, as he comes up [1 Kings 1:7]— [instead of] looking upon them with gladness, that such men are ready to follow them in the battles of the Lord and the worship of God, they look upon them with eyes of envy.  But I see it every day.  I see older preachers who look upon young preachers, and they look upon them as though they were the enemies.  “He’s going to take my place someday,” and they don’t like him!  Why, it ought to be just the opposite.  Thank God, there is going to be a succession in the kingdom and patience of Jesus.  Thank God, there are strong men to take the place of Joab and Amasa and Abner and this young fellow Benaiah, God is getting ready for the place.  We ought to rejoice in our young people, and thank God the Lord calls them into the ministry and calls them into these mighty offices to work for Jesus.  But that’s not true with Abiathar, and that’s not true with Joab.  So they decide, they decide to help Adonijah in his conspiracy [1 Kings 1:5-7].

And then the third thing Adonijah did: first, he copied Absalom in the way he got his chariots and his horses and his runners [1 Kings 1:5].  And then the second thing, he got Abiathar and Joab to be on his side [1 Kings 1:7].  And then the third thing he did, he did exactly like Absalom.  He finally threw off the mask.  And he called a great feast down there by the spring, close to Jerusalem.  And there he is anointed king over Israel [1 Kings 1:9].  Just like Absalom did [1 Kings 8:65-66].

But three people he didn’t invite.  He didn’t invite Solomon, and he did not invite Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and he didn’t invite Nathan the prophet of God [1 Kings 1:10].  And there they are, anointing Adonijah king over Israel [1 Kings 1:5-7, 24-27].  And Joab sounds the trumpet, and Abiathar pours on the sacred oil, and the people say, “God save King Adonijah” [1 Kings 1:25]. 

And David is still living, feeble old man, there in the bosom of Abishag [1 Kings 1:1-4].  I want you to remember that girl, Abishag.  You are going to meet her here in a minute.  And when that thing happened, Nathan went to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon and said, “Did you know that Adonijah doth reign, and David does not even know it? [1 Kings 1:11].  And do you know,” said Nathan the prophet to Bathsheba, “that if he is crowned king and accepted over Israel, that it means death for you and death for your son Solomon.  Did you know that? [1 Kings 1:12].  Now listen to me,” said Nathan the prophet, “You go in to David, and you remind him that he swore before the Lord God of heaven that thy son Solomon should sit upon his throne [1 Kings 1:13].  And then, while you are talking, I will come and I will corroborate the word that you say” [1 Kings 1:14].

And so Bathsheba goes in to the presence of the king and bows herself, and Abishag the Shunammite there is ministering to the king [1 Kings 1:15].  And Bathsheba says unto him, “My lord, thou swarest by the Lord thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne’“ [1 Kings 1:17].  “And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth: Adonijah reigneth, and my lord the king, does not know it!  He knows it not.  He knows it not” [1 Kings 1:18].

And then, just at that moment, Nathan the prophet came in, he was announced and he comes in.  And Bathsheba leaves.  And Nathan the prophet said, “My lord, O king, Adonijah doth reign, and did you do that and you have not told us?  Have you chosen Adonijah, and you did not reveal it to us, for he has gone down this day, and he has gathered the people together, and they cry, ‘God save King Adonijah’’’ [1 Kings 1:22-25].  “Did you do that and you did not tell us?” [1 Kings 1:27].

Nathan knew he didn’t do that.   “But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Solomon, he did not invite [1 Kings 1:26].  Is that according to your rule?  Is that what you said to do?” [1 Kings 1:27].  And the king said, “Bring back Bathsheba.”  And he says to Bathsheba, “As the Lord liveth, that redeemed my soul out of all distress, even as I swore unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Solomon thy son shall reign after me, he shall do so certainly!” says that feeble old man [1 Kings 1:28-30].  He is come to life this one time.  And Bathsheba bowed herself to the ground [1 Kings 1:31].  And Nathan the prophet bowed before the king.

And while they bowed, then the passage you read.  “You call Zadok the priest, that young man, and you call Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.  And Nathan, you, the prophet of God, take this boy”—just a young fellow, we don’t know how old he was.  Josephus said he is fourteen.  Practically all of these scholars say he is about twenty—”Take this young man and down to the spring Gihon, right there at the foot of the City of David, take him there and Zadok, with holy oil, anoint his head . . . And Nathan, “proclaim him king in my stead!”  [1 Kings 1:32-35].

And when David said that, Benaiah—Benaiah was a Levite; he was half-soldier and half-priest—and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen” [1 Kings 1:36].  Why don’t you ever say that once in a while?  Oh, you cannot help but just be moved by the spirit of a man like Benaiah.  And Benaiah said, “Amen, amen.  And may the Lord God say so too.  May God say ‘Amen’ up there in heaven” [1 Kings 1:35-36].  That’s Benaiah.  So, they took Solomon down there on the mount of the king and anointed him.  And the people gathered around with pipes and with dancing and with joy [1 Kings 1:39-40].  “Amen, from the audience.  Isn’t that great?  Isn’t that great?”  Oh, my!  There is gladness in real religion.

There just is; something to sing about, something to be glad about, something to rejoice in.  And the people were glad.  And the sound rent the earth, it says [1 Kings 1:40].  And Adonijah was right over the way where they had anointed him king [1 Kings 1:5-10].  And when they blew the trumpet and said, “God save King Solomon” [1 Kings 1:39], the trained ear of Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, and he said, “Why is the city in an uproar?” [1 Kings 1:41].

And about that time, Jonathan the son of Abiathar came, and Adonijah boosted up his spirit and said, “He is a good man.  And he brings us good tidings” [1 Kings 1:42].  Man, he brought the opposite!  Jonathan said, “Did you know that down there at Gihon at the spring that keeps Jerusalem alive, did you know that Zadok the priest has anointed Solomon king, and David has acquiesced, and he rides the mount of the king? [1 Kings 1:43-48].

And when that announcement was made, the bubble of Adonijah burst just like that.  And the people fled everyone in his own separate way [1 Kings 1:49].  And Adonijah fled to the altar of the sacrifice and held onto the horn of the altar [1 Kings 1:50].  And Solomon said, “Go get him and bring him here.”  And when Adonijah stood in the presence of the king, Solomon said, “If you behave yourself and be nice and act like a true prince ought to act, everything will be just fine.  Now, go to your house and it is all forgotten” [1 Kings 1:51-53].  And Solomon was that way all through his reign.  Wherever a prince was worthy, he advanced him and his children.  All right, “Then Solomon—now, chapter 2, verse 12—”Then Solomon sat upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly” [1 Kings 2:12].

Now I want to say just a little word because we don’t complete these brief surveys, unless I do add these little words of comment along.  May I, before we go on with Adonijah, because Adonijah, that’s the next verse, that’s the next stanza [1 Kings 2:13], that’s the next story, you are not done with Adonijah.  And remember Abishag, that beautiful Shunammite, remember that now.  And Solomon sits upon the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was established greatly [1 Kings 2:12].

He inherited a magnificent bequest from his father [1 Kings 1:32-40].  When David came to the kingdom, there was just a few warring tribes, but he made it a great empire.  God promised to Abraham that his seed should possess that land from the Euphrates River to the River of Egypt on the south, and from the Mediterranean to the great desert beyond [Genesis 15:18].  And all of that came to pass; practically all of it came to pass in the Davidic kingdom.

The whole thing paid tribute to my lord, King David.  And Solomon inherited that vast and extensive empire from his father.  And he inherited the Cherethites and the Pelethites, a marvelous, fearless, courageous guard, and inherited an army of one million three hundred thousand men [1 Chronicles 21:5].  And he inherited a wonderful capital;  David chose it and built it at Jerusalem [2 Samuel 5:6-9].  And he inherited a great movement toward his central place of religion, when David brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem [2 Samuel 6:12; 1 Chronicles 15:1-29].  And it never left until Nebuchadnezzar took it away [2 Kings 24:13], and God finally took it up to glory in heaven.  And John saw it in the temple of God in glory [Revelation 11:19].  All of that did the great King David do and bequeathed to Solomon.

And, then one other thing, one other thing: David, in his singing and in his psalms and in the prophecies, David built into the people a great messianic hope.  And in hours of darkness, and distress, and privation, and persecution, that hope of the Messiah, this greater son that shall sit on His throne forever, that hope never left those persecuted people, but it lived in the heart of the Jew that day and forever.  And all of that did David bequeath to King Solomon.

So, King Solomon sits upon the throne of David his father, and his kingdom is established greatly [1 Kings 2:12].  Now, and Adonijah, oh, oh, Adonijah, isn’t it strange how the spirit of a man is?  Isn’t it strange?  If he is that way, if he is that way, no matter where you put him, he is still the same!  If a man is a thief, you put him anywhere in the world, and he is still a thief, because a thief is a thief in his heart.  And if a man is a murderer and if a man is a liar and if a man is evil and vile and villainous and wicked, no matter where you put him, that’s the way he is because you don’t change a man on the outside, you change a man on the inside.  And if the inside of him is not changed, he’s never changed; he’s just the same, just the same.

And this man Adonijah, this man Adonijah, this brilliant, good-looking, handsome, fine, vigorous, but vile and wicked and ambitious and vain son of David, and Adonijah, he got Joab again, and he got Abiathar again and he had a slick scheme.  Oh, brother!  He said to Joab and he said to Abiathar, listen, “David is dead and buried.  And Abishag, this beautiful Shunammite girl, Abishag, she was the last wife of David.  If I could marry Abishag, if she could be given to me, it would enhance my political fortunes,” because according to Eastern custom whoever had the wife of the king was immediately looked upon by the people as being an heir to the kingdom itself.

So, he said, “Let’s see if I can get Abishag given to me” [1 Kings 2:13-17].  So, he never had the courage to go directly to young Solomon and ask for Abishag.  So, Adonijah said, “I will go to Bathsheba.  And Bathsheba will not know what lies back of the request.  And I will get Bathsheba to make the request.”  So Adonijah comes to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon.  And when Adonijah appeared, Bathsheba was frightened.

The presence of the prince disturbed her, and she said, “Are you coming in peace?” [1 Kings 2:13].  And he said, “Oh, yes, peaceably.”  And he said, “Moreover I have a request to make of thee.”  And Bathsheba said, “Say on.”  And he said, “You know that the kingdom was mine” [1 Kings 2:15].  That’s a lie.  That’s a lie.  The kingdom never was his [1 Kings 2:15].  But that’s the way he starts off.  “You know the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign, even on me.  Howbeit the kingdom has turned about, and has become my brother’s? [1 Kings 2:15]. And now could I ask in the place of the kingdom, just one little petition and do not deny me” [1 Kings 2:16].  Isn’t that a shrewd way to put it?

“The whole kingdom was mine, and now it is Solomon’s, your son.  And I just want one thing out of all of the ruin and the debris and the loss of mine; I just want one thing from it.”  And Bathsheba said, “Say on.  What is it?” [1 Kings 2:16].  And he said, “Speak, I pray, thee unto Solomon the king, and he will not deny you.”   You see, a man might have a whole lot of wives, and Solomon did, but the great, actually queen was the queen mother, the mother of Solomon, “and he will not deny thee.  And ask that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife” [1 Kings 2:17].  And Bathsheba said, “Why, certainly there is nothing wrong in that.”

Isn’t funny that she didn’t penetrate that?  She didn’t see through that.  She had no idea what lay beyond that.  “Why, well,” she said, “I will speak for thee unto the king” [1 Kings 2:18].  So, Bathsheba goes in before King Solomon, and when Solomon sees his mother come in, he says, “Bring another throne.  And set it here by my side, And seat my mother on the throne, and she shall share the glory of the kingdom with me” [1 Kings 2:19].

So Solomon sits on the throne, and right by his side sits Bathsheba his mother.  And she says, “Son, I ask of thee, I pray thee say me not nay, I ask of thee one small petition, one small petition” [1 Kings 2:20].   And the king said, “Why, I would not deny you anything in the world.  I would not deny you anything.  What is it that you want, this small petition?” [1 Kings 2:20].  And she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife.”  And a bomb exploded!  If you had set off an atomic fuse, it wouldn’t have been any more than that.  Solomon blew up!  And he turned to [Benaiab] and said, “Find Adonijah and slay him!” [1 Kings 2:23-25].  He was smart, this Solomon was.  He saw through that thing like the snap of your finger.   [Benaiab] slew Adonijah!  He was vile and vain to the end of his days [1 Kings 2:13-25].

And then he turned and called Abiathar, and he said, “Abiathar, I will not slay you because you shared the afflictions of my father David in the wilderness.  But from this day on, you are never to be a high priest again.  Go to Anathoth, to the paternal estate of your fathers, and live there in disgrace the rest of your life” [1 Kings 2:26-27].

And tidings of these came to Joab [1 Kings 2:28-35].  And Joab found his way to the high altar at Gibeon, and there, clung to the horns of the altar.  And Solomon said, “Benaiah, slay him!”  And when Benaiah went to Gibeon to slay Joab, there he was clinging to the altar.  And Benaiah, being a young fellow, being untrained in those vicious ways of war, Benaiah came back to Solomon and said, “I do not know what to do.  I do not want to kill him in that sacred place.  Why, he is clinging to the horns of the altar.  And I do not know what to do.”  And Solomon said, “Listen, the horns of the altar were not made to shield a murderer, fall upon him that he die!”

And so, Benaiah went up there again to Gibeon and said, “Joab, come forth.”  And Joab said, “No, but I will die here by the altar.”  And Benaiah there fell upon him and slew him [1 Kings 2:34].  Isn’t that a strange thing?  It was at the big rock in Gibeon that Joab had taken Amasa, the captain of the hosts appointed in his place, and as though he would kiss him, Joab, having his sword that he picked up off the ground—apparently he dropped it—picked it up with his left hand, when he feigned to kiss Amasa, there Joab slew him, cut him in two, with that short sword [2 Samuel 20:8-10].  And in that same place, Gibeon, Benaiah slays Joab [1 Kings 2:34].  Isn’t that strange?

And Ahab, and Ahab, and Ahab took the vineyard of Naboth [1 Kings 21:1-16].  And the dogs licked up his blood where they stoned Naboth to death [1 Kings 21:19].  And Elijah the Tishbite said, “And Ahab, in the same place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, in that same place, shall the dogs lick up thy blood” [1 Kings 21:17-19].  “Joab, in the same place where you murdered Amasa [2 Samuel 20:8-10], in that same place his blood stained the ground, and the earth drank it up…”  So, Solomon is king over Israel.  The last verse of the second chapter: “And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon” [1 Kings 2:46].

Now, I want to make one little comment, then I have to quit, for our time is already gone.  So the kingdom is established in the hands of Solomon [1 Kings 2:46].  And next Sunday night, we are going to look upon the glory that was Solomon’s.  Oh, how God gave him every desire of his heart.  We are going to follow that next Sunday night, “Because you did not ask riches or fame or long life, but you asked that the favor and wisdom of God might rest upon you.  I am going to give you not only that, but all of these other things” [1 Kings 3:5-14].  And Solomon reigned for forty years [2 Chronicles 9:30].  And he made gold and silver like rocks in the city of Jerusalem.  And he built it up to be one of the most beautiful, glorious capitals of the world.  And the temple was superb beyond description, the glory of God in the earth.  Solomon, Solomon, the wisdom and the glory that was Solomon’s!

Just this little thing, the second chapter ends: “And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon” [1 Kings 2:46].  And the third, the next chapter begins: “And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her to the City of David” [1 Kings 3:1].  Ah, ah, but isn’t it always that way?  When they become rich, when they become affluent, when they become successful, they open the door to the love of the world.  And it isn’t long until godly people, who were reared in the very favor and love and nurture of Jesus, there they are in affinity with the world, their children marrying worldly children.  And all of the worldliness of life comes in like a flood.  And these who once were in the very heart and the center of the love and worship of God, their hearts are turned away.  And you will follow it in the life of Solomon, until finally the Lord God came and said, “It is enough.  It is enough.  For David, My servant’s sake, I will not rend the kingdom.  I will not take it away in your life.  But when you sleep with your fathers, it will not live, it will not continue, it dies with you Solomon” [1 Kings 11:11-13]. 

Just look at this, and the next verse: “And he made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her to the City of David” [1 Kings 3:1].  Oh, what a magnificent gesture.  What a magnificent marriage.  What a successful monarch!  There never was another in Israel that made so fine a union as that!

But listen, but listen, the Talmud says, and I am quoting now from the Talmud.  “When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, the angel Gabriel descended from heaven and planted a reed in the midst of the sea.  And around the reed grew a sandbank.  And in the long centuries that followed, on that sandbank, grew up the mighty Rome of the Caesars that burned down Jerusalem, and plowed it under, and destroyed the temple forever, and made them a homeless race to this present day.”

Ah, ah, ah!  How the world comes in like a flood!  Oh, oh!  How we need the help of God to keep our people faithful, and humble, and true, and committed, and loving.  O God, that the world might be shut out, and that God might have His way in our lives.

That’s the reason, believe me with all of my soul, I think we ought to do everything we can to get our people in the orbit of the church.  All of them, our children here, our young people here, our families here, our parents here, keep them in the church.  Keep them busy in the work of the Lord: camps, Vacation Bible schools, and Training Unions and Sunday school classes, and our social life, and our recreational life, and every part of our life that is possible, keep it in the orbit of the church, keep it among the people of God, keep the world out, and keep God in our souls.  Lord, may it be, grant, Lord, may it be.  And Benaiah said, “Amen:  And may the Lord God say, Amen, too” [1 Kings 1:36].

Now we must make our invitation.  On the first note of this first stanza, somebody you, give his heart to Jesus.  Come and give your hand to the preacher.  If you’re in that balcony, there is a stairway at the back on either side, make it tonight, make it now.  And on this lower floor, into that aisle, into that aisle, into that aisle and down here to the front, the pastor is standing right there, “Pastor, I give you my hand, I give my heart to God.”  A family you, a couple, a child, a youth, as the Spirit of Jesus shall say the word and lead in the way, make it tonight.  “I am giving my heart in trust to Him,” or “We are coming into the fellowship of the church.”  And while we sing this song make it now, make it tonight, while we stand and while we sing.

SOLOMON INHERITS THE KINGDOM

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Kings 1:32-40

7-9-61

I. Adonijah tries to usurp the throne in David’s old age

1.    Adonijah eldest at that time, his three older brothers are dead

2.    Well like in the kingdom

3.    Persuaded Joab and Abiathar to conspire with him

4.    Adonijah is anointed king by Abiathar

II. Nathan and Bathsheba plead with David who is old and feeble

III. David has Solomon anointed king instead of Adonijah, Israel celebrated

IV. Solomon inherited David’s vast kingdom

V. Solomon judges the conspirators