In David’s final words to his son Solomon, David elevates the Book of the Law, charging Solomon to stay in the Word and keep the Lord’s commandments – “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”
Then David instructs Solomon to execute justice on behalf of three men:
- Solomon is to judge Joab for murdering Abner, a commander of the army under Saul’s reign, and Amasa, the man David made his military commander over Joab. “Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace.”
- Solomon is to show kindness to Barzillai’s sons because of Barzillai’s loyalty to David when he was on the run from Absalom.
- Solomon is to judge Shimei for taunting David while he was fleeing from Absalom. “Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.”
After the death of King David, who reigned a total of forty years, we begin reading the psalms written by David and his lead song writers. In Psalm 9, David says – “The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; in the net which they hid, their own foot is caught. The Lord is known by the judgment He executes; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten; the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men.”
The nations who do not know the Lord or have forgotten Him and do not walk in the ways of the Lord turn to evil and wickedness. However, David knows that the Lord will use what He hates to bring judgment upon the people and to accomplish His good purposes. David is calling upon the Lord to judge the wicked nations so that the people may know the true living God and put their hope and trust in Him.
David also knows that the needy shall not always be forgotten and the poor shall not perish forever. For those who trust in the Lord, although they may suffer for a while, their suffering has an expiration date. And the Lord uses affliction in the life of Christians to draw us nearer to Him and to mold us more into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.
- “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).
- “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).
Christians can still rejoice even through trials here on earth because our hope is in Christ, and our salvation is secure now and for eternity.
We have thirteen days of reading psalms ahead of us, so keep reading! (1 Kings 2:1-9, 2 Samuel 23:1-7, 1 Kings 2:10-12, 1 Chronicles 29:26-30, Psalms 4-6, Psalms 8-9, 11)