It may sound great to hear David’s last words to his son, Solomon, as he passes the kingship down to him. His last words, however, were not all positive, uplifting, and inspiring. Some of them caused me to double-take.
You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did...don't let him grow old and go to his grave in peace. (1 Kings 2:5-6 NLT)
"Be kind to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead... (1 Kings 2:7 NLT)
"And remember Shimei son of Gera...you will know how to arrange a bloody death for him." (1 Kings 2:8-9 NLT)
Don’t let him grow old and go to his grave in peace? You will know how to arrange a bloody death for him? These were tough instructions to receive from his father on his death bed. What will Solomon do with these? Will follow his father’s actions and allow these men, who have wronged David and the kingdom, to live? Or, will he honor his father by following his last instructions here in this life? What does Solomon do? He does what David asks him to do. Here are some of the first big decisions Solomon makes as king.
Adonijah (Solomon’s half-brother) put to death (for rebellion)... (1 Kings 2:13-25)
Abiathar (the priest) deposed (fulfilling a prophecy)... (1 Samuel 2:27-36, 1 Kings 2:26-27)
Joab (commander of the military) put to death (as David commanded)… (1 Kings 2:28-34)
Benaiah replaces Joab as commander. Zadok replaces Abiathar as priest. (1 Kings 2:35)
Shimei killed (following David’s wishes)… (1 Kings 2:36-45)
So the kingdom was now firmly in Solomon's grip. (1 Kings 2:46)
How about you? Do you make decisions based on what will be popular? Do you make decisions based on what a parent or mentor would do? Do you make decisions following some other criteria? How do you handle tough decisions?