1 Kings 1:15-21
So Bathsheba went to the king in his bedroom. Since the king was very old, Abishag the Shunammite was serving him. Bathsheba bowed down and paid homage to the king, and he asked, "What do you want?" She replied, "My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, 'Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne.' Now look, Adonijah has become king. And, my lord king, you didn't know [it]. He has lavishly sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep. He invited all the king's sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but he did not invite your servant Solomon. Now, my lord king, the eyes of all Israel are on you to tell them who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise, when my lord the king rests with his fathers, I and my son Solomon will be regarded as criminals.
This is awkward. Bathsheba, David's wife walks in on David with another lady in his room "serving" him. And we know from the previous verses her job of serving was to warm him. And really the way you warm someone, or at least implied here, is laying with him naked. Seriously how awkward to walk in on! David says, "What do you want?" What kind of tone do you suppose this was in? A defensive, snappy tone? Or perhaps since he is sick, maybe a quiet, sickly tone?
And what do you suppose Abishag was thinking? Was it awkward for her or did she have a sense of pride and superiority? I wonder if Bathsheba wondered or assumed Abishag was judging her? Or perhaps Abishag wondered or assumed Bathsheba was judging her?
We don't know all the awkward elements but we do know Bathsheba stayed focused and pressed through the embarrassment and probable judgments to do what was right, communicate. Have you ever been in a situation where it was just too awkward or embarrassing or perhaps there were too many assumptions that you couldn't communicate? I have, more than I can count. Sadly, most of them I ran from and didn't push through like Bathsheba. But the ones I did, the ones I did what was right even when I dreaded it, it produced amazing fruit! Every time I can remember it turned out to be miscommunication or misunderstanding and the relationship deepened more than I thought possible. Basically it was worth it.
But there will be times when doing whats right doesn't seem worth it. There will be times we wont get to see the benefit until heaven. Like Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of Pastor Saeed. I heard an interview with her the other day explaining how her husband got in prison and how she is doing. It was amazing to hear her share. Her attitude is incredible and tells about how her husband would spend 4-5 hours a day praying for years before he went to prison which prepared his heart and mind to endure what was to come. Basically he obeyed the law, he did what was right and that is why he is in prison. Before we went, there was a chance for him to escape and its the norm of what people do that are in his position. But he didn't. He stayed and now is in the worst prison in the world. Right now, with her husband in prison, it doesn't seem like it was worth it. But one day when we all see clearly in heaven, we will all see how worth it it was.
No matter what the Lord has set before us to endure and push through confidently it will eventually be worth it. Doing whats right no matter the cost always is.
Lord, what ways do I need to step out and do the hard thing? Give me courage, strength and perspective.
1 Kings 1:11-14
"Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, "Have you not heard that Adonijah son of Haggith has become king and our lord David does not know [it]? Now please come and let me advise you. Save your life and the life of your son Solomon. Go, approach King David and say to him, 'My lord king, did you not swear to your servant: Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne? So why has Adonijah become king?' At that moment, while you are still there speaking with the king, I'll come in after you and confirm your words."
What would you say if I asked you what faith was? In 2001 I interned with the ministry I work with now. I had no clue of how to raise support and at the time the ministry was very small and there was no established training on how to raise support or even how much I needed to raise. So between working 1 night a week at Denny's and interning as a college missionary I made around $300 a month. Every month God provided for my every need and I prided myself on how I lived by faith. You see for me faith was being hands off and God coming through. Basically it was me being passive and God coming through despite my ignorance.
This is pretty extreme but I've heard many comments that lead to this very thinking. It's sitting back and waiting to be asked, invited or accepted before jumping in to serve or do something. It's assuming if there's an invitation it must be God's open door. But sometimes what we see as a closed door is really an opportunity for God to show off. Think of Moses leading the people out of Egypt and coming to the Red Sea. Closed door. But God did the impossible to show Himself great. Closed doors and open doors shouldn't dictate our actions and choices. Think of Peter and Silas in prison. The earth quakes and the doors swing open. Open door. But they stay and the jail guard and his whole family put their trust in Christ. Sometimes closed doors teach us perseverance and open doors teach us humility and surrender. But in both Moses and Peter and Silas situations they exerted effort, they tried, they took action rather than sitting back passively waiting for God to move.
I really like the prophet Nathan. I look forward to meeting Him in heaven and finding out what he's like in person. He is such a great example of this for us. Here we see him taking action and doing what needs to be done strategically. He didn't just sit back passively and say, "Welp, must be God's will". He knew God's will. He knew the Lord appointed Solomon King and he took action in the face of injustice. Daniel 11:32 says, "Those that know the Lord display strength and take action." It seems Nathan knew the Lord deeply.
How are you growing to know the Lord more? What injustices are going on around you? What action can you take? What about how God has built you? What abilities has He given you? What passions has He ignited in your heart and mind? Are you sitting passively waiting for God to use you in those areas? How are you walking by faith to grow in your skill and excellence to do those things well?
1 Kings 1:5-10
"Adonijah son of Haggith kept exalting himself, saying, "I will be king!" He also assembled chariots, cavalry, and 50 men to run ahead of him. But his father had never once reprimanded him by saying, "Why do you act this way?" In addition, he was quite handsome and was born after Absalom. He conspired with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. They supported Adonijah, but Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David's warriors did not side with Adonijah. Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle near the stone of Zoheleth, which is next to En-rogel. He invited all his royal brothers and all the men of Judah, the servants of the king, but he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the warriors, or his brother Solomon."
Sometimes what starts as harmless and fun turns into something out of control. Have you ever experienced that? When I was in college I lived with three incredible girls. Each one brought their own dynamic to the group and together we were a well balanced team. Christina brought justice and stability, Erica brought peace and harmony, I kept us focused on the Lord and His mission and Janna brought fun and adventure. Without Janna my college years would be a lot less colorful and I would have a lot less adventure stories. One of those stories started off as a playful prank. We were friends with a group of guys who lived together. Someone had pranked one of their cars and they suspected us so they retaliated. We had no idea this was pay back in their mind because to us they started it. You can see how this is just not a very good start. In retaliation we prank their house... a bit too creatively. We couldn't decide which prank to do so we did them all. We stringed their living room, short-sheeted their beds and put crumbs in them, put cat food in the bathtub but that seemed not quite enough so we turned the water on (turns out that's really disgusting. Whoops), and saran wrapped their clothes into a giant ball. All (well besides the cat food thing) very funny by themselves. But put them together and turns out it just makes people mad. In their mind we have now pranked them back again. In reality we were having fun and getting them back. This is where things go down hill fast. Angry, they drive to our place and barge into our little duplex, lock us in a closet and start to ravage our place. What you see on tv is nothing compared to what they did. When all was said and done nothing was in it's place. Everything was dumped out of drawers, closets, couch cushions even taken out of the case, light bulbs unscrewed and tossed into the chaos, 2 liters of pop dumped all over the kitchen floor, poop on the floor. We finally bust out of the closet and were horrified. Our friends had done this to us. I can't explain the sadness and betrayal we felt. This had gone too far. We brought in the giant trash bins and began to throw most everything away because it was destroyed. Game pieces, music, movies all in the trash. Hours later one of the guys shows up at the door to apologize and see how we were doing. Christina, the justice stability bringing said not to let him in because they were going to do it again. Me, the offers way too much grace sometimes one can't imagine someone would do that again. Janna lets him in and this time they are all dressed in black and it all happens again. We're horrified. This was Saturday night. After just a few hours of sleep we head to church where all of us go. I sit in the back fuming mad while the Pastor talks about how we need to forgive people even when they don't deserve it.
Sometimes life doesn't go the way we want. It seems like I'm constantly telling my kids, "We don't always get what we want. And life is not about getting what we want." And just like they need me to say no to them sometimes, we need the same from the Lord. We need His discipline to remind us life is just not about us.
David had "never once reprimanded" Adonijah. Result? A grown man who thought life was about getting what he wanted full of bitterness. A grown man who was exclusive and shut people out who didn't feed his ego and give him what he wanted. A grown man who conspired ways to get his way no matter the cost to others. His actions were ugly because his heart was ugly. The opposite of what God calls beautiful, "A gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (1 Peter 3:4) The word quiet is compared to a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. A peaceful heart is a heart that has forgiven others, even when the forgiveness is undeserved and even unasked for.
Whatever is in our heart will eventually work its way out into our actions. Whats in your heart? Are you willing to turn to the Lord with it an ask Him to heal the broken places and ask Him to make it more life His? He's willing to receive it. We don't have to wait till we have it all together to come to the Lord. He wants us to come to Him just as we are because in Him and Him alone we find life. He's the One that can fix our hearts, He's the One who can enable us to forgive if we only surrender and depend on Him.
The Bible is scientifically accurate – here a just a few things it describes:
The Bible is prophetically accurate (here are a few examples – there are thousands more).
1. There are over 330 prophesies concerning the coming Messiah. Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled, to the letter, every one of these prophesies to this date – (A prophesy was a direct message from God to the people concerning future events. These messages were given through prophets. All Biblical prophesies and prophets are from Jewish history. Capital punishment by stoning was the penalty for any prophet whose prophesies were not 100% true and fulfilled.)
2. The following probabilities are taken from Peter Stoner in Science Speaks.
l. Type of Birth Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:18-23
2. Birthplace Micah 5:2 Luke 2:4, 6-7
3. Purpose of His Death Isaiah 53:4-6 1 Peter 2:24
4. Beat and Spit on Isaiah 50:6 Matt. 26:67, 27:29-30
5. Pierced in Hands & Feet Psalms 22:16 John 20:27
6. Crucified with Thieves Isaiah 53:12 Matt. 27:38
7. Resurrection Psalms 16:9-10 Acts 2:31
8. Ascension Psalms 68:18 Acts 1:9
Others include: a specific lineage from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Judah to David, being betrayed by a friend to death for 30 pieces of silver, having no bones broken, having his clothes gambled for at death, having his side pierced on his death, the sun going dark at his death and raising Himself from the dead 3 days later.
The Bible is historically accurate, real people, places and events corroborated by archeology (here are just a couple of examples).
The Bible’s authors agree (over 40 authors of different backgrounds, times, social status, languages and ethnic groups).
Bible is textually accurate (here is a quick comparison with Homer’s Illiad – the next closest textually accurate manuscript).
To download a copy of this click here.
1 Kings 1:1-4
"Now King David was old and getting on in years. Although they covered him with bedclothes, he could not get warm. So his servants said to him: "Let us search for a young virgin for my lord the king. She is to attend the king and be his caregiver. She is to lie by your side so that my lord the king will get warm." They searched for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel; they found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king. The girl was of unsurpassed beauty, and she became the king's caregiver. She served him, but he was not intimate with her."
In October 2004, at age 27, I found a lump in my neck. I went to the doctor who said I needed to get a biopsy. A few days later I found myself on a table getting a giant needle put into my neck. They sent me home to wait for the results. They finally called and told me that I had papillary carcinoma, thyroid cancer. They said I needed to have surgery immediately to take out my thyroid. I always wondered how I would react in situations like that. Would I freak out? Or would I stay calm knowing the Lord was in control?
Another time while driving home in a snow storm my car slid off the road into a ditch but as we were about to run into a pole I found myself crying out to God for help. I was so glad my reaction in a moment of panic was to pray and cry out to God.
After I hung up the phone all I could think to do was to get out my guitar and sing "You give and take away, blessed be the name of the Lord." It was then that I learned how sometimes it's easier to trust God with things out of your control than it is to trust Him with things in your control. I went to the hospital a few days later to have my thyroid taken out. And when I was waking up and a bit woozy from the pain medicine they said, "We have good news. It wasn't cancer." That is good news... kind of. They took out half of my organ just to tell me that I didn't have cancer. I was so confused. Many thoughts raced through my woozy mind, "Didn't they tell me it was cancer? Two biopsy's had confirmed it. Did God heal me or did they make a mistake? It's good I don't have cancer, but don't I need my thyroid?" I'm still not sure what happened, if I really had cancer or not. But I can tell you in moments of unknown it's harder to immediately trust the Lord.
David was dying at age 70 and no one knew how to heal him. King David, the one who had began the first age of godly greatness and prosperity in the history of the Hebrews was on his death bed. He had announced years earlier when commissioning Solomon to build the temple that Solomon would be heir to the throne, but there had never been a coronation. Not knowing what to do, the servants go get David yet another wife without consulting the Lord or even prophets. When they weren't sure what to do their first reaction was to rely on their own understanding instead of seeking the Lord. Isn't that so easy to do? Isn't it easy to make decisions impulsively without stopping to ask God what He wants? The unknown left everything just out of everyone's control and this chapter lets us see what human kind is capable of when left to ourselves instead of trusting God.
What unknowns are you afraid of?
What is something true about God you can cling to?
Hi, I'm Laura. I'm here to brag about how great God is which I hope encourages you. I am married to a super wise man, wrangle 5 kiddos, am a ministry leader, run a group blog, write books and try to remember that it's just not about me.