Introduction: Have you had enough of studying dragons and beasts? We
now turn to the study of kings! This quarter we are essentially
studying the books of First and Second Kings. Because First and Second
Chronicles gives us a parallel account to Kings, we will compare
Chronicles from time to time. Let’s put on our armor and jump into
the history of the Kings of Israel and Judah!

  1. David’s Decline

    1. Read 1 Kings 1:1. Anyone understand David’s condition?

      1. About a week ago I was at a ski resort in Utah.
        Although it was summer, and very warm outside, I
        noticed an old guy walking around wearing a coat! Ever
        notice that some old people wear jackets in summer?
        (David, like many old people, was suffering from a
        circulation problem.)

    2. Read 1 Kings 1:2-3. Where can you find servants like this?
      Can you imagine your doctor prescribing this for circulatory
      problems in your old age?

    3. Read 1 Kings 1:4. The Bible is really quite short. A lot of
      details I would like to know are left out. Why do you think
      this little story about the ancient substitute for an
      electric blanket for King David is in the Bible?

      1. If you were writing this story, would you include this

      2. Did you notice the quarterly jumps right over this
        part of the story? (This sets the stage for the
        account of the kings in two ways. First, it reveals
        that we are going to get an honest and open account.
        If I were writing about King David, I would certainly
        leave this detail out of the story. Second, this tells
        us in a very clear way that David was at the end of
        his life. It was time for a new king.)

  2. Adonijah For King

    1. Read 1 Kings 1:5-6. Tell me what you learn about this young
      man Adonijah? Describe his character for me. (He is a proud
      opportunist. Since his father David, is not dead, but only
      sick, he has no right to the throne. The text suggests his
      behavior has not been appropriate. He is, however, good
      looking. 2 Samuel 3:4 tells us he was David’s fourth son.)

      1. What do these verses tell us about David as a father?
        (He never disciplined Adonijah.)

      2. Consider this situation for a moment. How might things
        have been different if David had disciplined Adonijah
        as he was growing up? (Discipline probably would have
        caused the son to respect the authority of his father.
        This rebellion might not have happened if David had
        properly raised his son.)

    2. Read 1 Kings 1:7-8. Joab was David’s general of the army and
      Abiathar was Priest. (It appears that Abiathar and Zadok
      were both “High Priest” during this time. See 2 Samuel
      20:23-25.) Why would Adonijah go to these two men for
      support and why would they give it?

      1. Do you think Zadok, Benaiah and Nathan were asked to
        support Adonijah?

    3. Read 1 Kings 1:9-10. Why do you have “visitors’ dinner” or
      “fellowship dinner” after church? (Adonijah understood that
      if you feed them they will come!)

      1. What do you think Nathan, Benaiah and Solomon thought
        about not being invited? (The battle lines had been
        drawn. These people did not support Adonijah’s quest
        to become king and was not excluding them.)

        1. Were the lives of Nathan and the other
          “objectors” in danger?

  3. Solomon for King

    1. Read 1 Kings 1:11. Why would Nathan go to Bathsheba first?
      Why not go to King David or Solomon first? (Nathan thought
      that Bathsheba would have a great interest in what was
      happening and she apparently was the best one to approach
      King David.)

      1. Read 1 Kings 1:12. Was Bathsheba’s interest merely for
        the success of her son? (No. Nathan suggests that both
        Bathsheba and Solomon will be killed if Adonijah takes
        the throne.)

        1. Why would they be killed?

    2. Read 1 Kings 1:13-14. How does Nathan know what King David
      had said about Solomon becoming king? (Either Bathsheba had
      been talking about this promise to her son, or it was well-known.)

      1. Read 1 Chronicles 22:7-10. Who decided that Solomon
        should be the next king? (God decided this. It is
        likely that Nathan, the prophet, would know what God
        had decreed.)

    3. Recall that Bathsheba became David’s wife because they
      committed adultery, she became pregnant, and David arranged
      to have Bathsheba’s husband killed. (For this account see 2
      Samuel 11.) Why would God “honor” this arrangement by making
      their son the next king?

      1. I remember a woman once telling me about how she
        became married to her current husband. She committed
        adultery and married the fellow with whom she had been
        having an affair. It was now many years and several
        children later. I could tell that even now she was
        troubled about whether God approved of her still being
        married to the fellow with whom she had the affair.
        Was it still sin for her to be married to her current

      2. What does God’s selection of Solomon say about his
        willingness to forgive and forget sexual sins? (God
        had obviously forgiven David and Bathsheba. God was
        willing to honor their son by making him the next
        king. However, we should not forget that this sin
        caused a tremendous problem in David’s life which led
        to the death of his two oldest sons. (See 2 Samuel 13
        & 18.))

    4. Let’s go back to 1 Kings 1:12-13. If Nathan knew about God’s
      promise to David about Solomon, do you think Solomon knew?
      (It seems certain.)

      1. Where is Solomon in all of this? Surely he noticed
        that he did not get invited to Adonijah’s coronation
        party! Surely he realized the danger to himself and
        his mother. How do you explain that Nathan the prophet
        is the moving party here instead of Solomon?

        1. How does Solomon’s approach to his future differ
          from Adonijah’s approach? (Solomon seems
          completely content to rely on God’s promise he
          will be the next king. The Biblical account gives
          no indication that Solomon did anything to
          promote himself as king.)

        2. Is this an example to us in our daily work?

        3. Is it an example only if God promised us a

          1. Read Psalms 75:6-7 (and also read it in the
            KJV)and tell me what you think it is saying
            about your job?

  4. The Contest for King Ended

    1. Just as Nathan has suggested, Bathsheba approaches David
      followed by Nathan. Their entire conversation can be found
      in 1 Kings 1:15-27. Let’s focus on a few of these verses.
      Read 1 Kings 1:17-18, 20-21. How would you describe
      Bathsheba’s appeal to King David? (It has several elements.
      First, she reminds David of the Lord’s will and David’s
      solemn oath supporting God’s direction (v.17). She then
      suggests that God’s will and David’s promise are not being
      fulfilled either because David is not doing his job or
      because he simply is unaware of events (v.18). Next she
      suggests David still has control and has not become
      irrelevant with age and weakness (v.20). Finally, she
      appeals to David’s love and pity for his wife and son

      1. What do you think about Bathsheba’s “legal argument”
        to the King?

    2. Let’s focus on the key part of Nathan’s argument. Read 1
      Kings 1:24, 26-27. How would you describe Nathan’s argument?
      (Nathan speaks as if David has the same power he had when he
      was young and clearly in charge. A king need not tell
      everyone what he decides, and Nathan acts as if David might
      have agreed to Adonijah becoming King. The idea is that
      David still has the authority to make these decisions (vv.
      24, 27). Nathan also tells David that he and others are
      faithful to him and suggests they might meet a bad end if
      David does nothing (v.26).)

      1. What do you think about Nathan’s “legal argument?”

      2. Joab, the Commander of the army, supported Adonijah.
        What do you think he had decided on the issue of
        David’s authority to make the decision on who would be
        the next king?

        1. If you were looking at this as a disinterested
          outsider, whose opinion would you accept – the
          old, weak King’s opinion or the opinion of the
          commander of the army?

    3. Read 1 Kings 1:28-30. How does David solve the obvious
      problem of his weakness and Joab’s defection? (“As surely as
      the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble.”
      David depended upon God.)

      1. Are those words for you to live by?

    4. Read 1 Kings 1:32-35. What do you think about David’s
      solution to the problem? Why not mount a military campaign
      against Adonijah? How much good is blowing trumpets?

    5. David’s instructions are followed, Solomon is anointed King,
      and his ascension to the throne is announced. Read 1 Kings
      1:40. How do the people respond?

    6. Read 1 Kings 1:41-43, 49. How does the matter end? Why
      doesn’t Adonijah summon his supporter, Joab, to call out the
      army? (The text says that all the guests were alarmed
      (frightened). Joab was one of those frightened guests. It
      seems that everyone, including the new “king” Adonijah were
      afraid. Adonijah realized that he did not have the support
      of the people. Verses 50 and 51 tell us that Adonijah ran
      and grabbed “hold of the horns of the altar.” Grabbing hold
      of the horns of the altar was a historic method of finding a
      “safe harbor” from those who sought to punish you. See, 1
      Kings 2:28, Exodus 27:2 and Exodus 21:14. Thus, Adonijah
      feared that Solomon would kill him.)

    7. Read 1 Kings 1:53. Would you have reacted the same King
      Solomon reacted? Would you say, “It’s OK, go just go home?”

    8. Friend, this story shows the importance of relying on God
      instead of man. Adonijah had lined up on his side the power
      of men. Solomon just relied on God’s promise. As a result,
      God came through and made Solomon King. Are you willing to
      put your trust in God?

  5. Next Week: The Wisdom of Solomon.