…Psalm 127: David’s Last Instructions to “Clear the Land”

    “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool.  
     Where is the house that you will build Me?  And where is the place of My rest? 
   For all those things My hand has made … and all those things exist,” says the Lord.
– Isaiah 66:1
David’s instruction to Solomon may seem a bit harsh.  Still a child, he is told by his father, David, to begin by clearing away certain men that had been a problem for David.  It is important also to understand evil men shall have no place in God’s kingdom, Israel must continue to remain undefiled to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.
1 Kings 2:13-46     David called Solomon and gave him some advice to help him begin his new administration.   The thing about David’s advice was that he counseled Solomon telling him to correct those things which he himself had failed to do.  He urges Solomon to devote himself to keeping God’s law:

“I am about to die. Be strong and become a great man!   Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you by following his instructions and obeying his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish,  and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me, ‘If your descendants watch their step and live faithfully in my presence with all their heart and being, then,’ he promised, ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel’” (1 Kings 2:2-4).

Second, David urges Solomon to deal with Joab:

 “You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet.  Do to him what you think is appropriate, but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death” (1 Kings 2:5-6).

Third, David encourages Solomon to reward Barzillai, a man who remained faithful to him in his time of trouble:

“Treat fairly the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, because they helped me when I had to flee from your brother Absalom” (1 Kings 2:7).

Finally, David urged Solomon to deal with  Shimei, a man who had been a thorn in David’s flesh:

Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down with the sword.’ 9 But now don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him; make sure he has a bloody death” (1 Kings 2:8-9).

1 Kings 2, tells that Solomon carried out David’s counsel and thereby consolidated his kingdom.  These men will not trouble the kingdom further.  Solomon dealt with Abiathar, the priest who had betrayed him by supporting Adonijah. David would not execute a priest, but he did banish him to his home. Solomon appointed Zadok as priest in his place (1 Kings 2:35)

When word reached Joab that Solomon was dealing with his enemies, he fled to the altar and grasped its horns.  This time, Joab was not to escape the punishment he deserved. Solomon dispatched Benaiah, who put Joab to death before the altar for Joab’s acts of murder against innocent men. (1 Kings 2:31-33).

Last, Solomon carried out David’s counsel regarding Shimei, the Benjamite who had wrongly spoken against David. Shimei brought about his own death. He promised Shimei that if he left Jerusalem, his life would be taken. Two years later, when Solomon learned that Shimei had left Jerusalem, he summoned him and rebuked him for violating the terms the king had set down. Solomon’s kingdom was firmly established, because those who would oppose him had been removed.

The Close of David’s Reign   

So David rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David.  Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was  firmly established.

Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.  And the period that he reigned over Israel was forty years–seven years he reigned in Hebron, and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem.  So he died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor, and Solomon his son reigned in his place.  – 1 Chronicles 29:26-28

Psalm 127    Laboring and Prospering with the Lord
A Song of Ascents of Solomon
1     Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;
     Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
2     It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows–
     For so He gives His beloved sleep.
3     Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
4     Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
5     Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them–
    They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

 

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