30 May 2016

1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12

“So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his kingdom was firmly established.” (v. 12)

Psalm: Psalm 92


Last words are often thought of as important -  they are the parting wisdom of someone who has seen and experienced life. They are often thought to contain the pearl of wisdom that has been gleaned and needs to be handed over to the hearer so they can benefit from them and build upon them in their own life.

As King David drew near to the end of his life he prepared his chosen heir Solomon to take his place by sharing his last words. The opening verses (verses 1-3) are David's instruction to his son on how to live his life. His charge is that Solomon stays strong and that he observes the law and is obedient to God's call. If he does this then the line of David would continue through him and his children, as promised by God (verse 4).

We know from the stories of David that although he was known as a "man after [God's] own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14) he also had failings (2 Samuel 11; 2 Samuel 24). These mistakes that David had made in his life were the source of his wisdom. He had messed up and wronged God and others, and he had learnt some of his lessons the hard way. But he had also made many good decisions and felt God's presence with him and learnt from those times also.

As we follow Solomon's story from this point we will also see the good choices he made (1 Kings 3:10) but also his mistakes (1 Kings 11:1-13). Even with the wise words of his father, Solomon did not always heed them and chose his own path. With the end of Solomon's reign we see the promise given to David begin to fail as the kings of Israel and Judah continued to go against the last words of David until eventually both kingdoms were taken into exile.

To Ponder

  • What would be your 'last words' to your friends and family?
  • Can you think of some wise words that have been given to you? What were they?
  • Does God teach you more through the mistakes you make or when you chose the right path? 

Bible notes author

The Revd David Wynd

David Wynd is a Methodist presbyter in the North Shields and Whitley Bay Circuit. He leads Cullercoats Methodist Church and is involved in a circuit project called Network.