Introduction: King David is dying. His son, Solomon, sits on the
throne as King. David gives his final instructions to his boy, the
King. Parents, if you were in David’s position, what would you tell
your child? Let’s dive into our lesson and find out what David tells
his son – the man whom we later learn from our lesson will become the
wisest guy on earth.

  1. Final Spiritual Instructions

    1. Read 1 Kings 2:1. Parents, would you like an opportunity
      just before you die to give your children some last

      1. If you said, “yes,” is that because you have been
        failing to give them instructions all along?

      2. Would it be better to have everything important said
        before the last minute?

    2. Read 1 Kings 2:2. What is the very first piece of advice
      that David gives his son? (“Be strong, show yourself a

      1. What does this mean?

      2. Is this Biblical advice? Or, is this just the advice
        of the world? The advice of an old warrior?

      3. Look at 1 Chronicles 22:9. What kind of disposition
        does it say Solomon possessed? (Man of peace and

      4. Is David’s advice about “being a man” an attempt to
        put some steel in Solomon’s spine? Was this advice
        given because Solomon was a peaceful kind of guy?
        (The advice sounds like it comes from an old warrior.
        However, this is Biblical advice. Paul gives
        essentially the same advice in 1 Corinthians 16:13.
        Our Christian walk, our lives in this world, often
        require us to be strong and courageous.)

        1. Are the ladies left out of the “be a man”
          advice? (I don’t think being strong and
          courageous is gender specific.)

    3. Read 1 Kings 2:3. What is David’s second bit of final
      advice to Solomon?

      1. Why does he advise obedience to God? (This is a point
        that we should always make to our children – even
        though it seems to be somewhat unpopular today. If
        you obey God, you will be blessed. Deuteronomy 28 is
        the clearest statement of this principle, and it is
        repeated several times in the New Testament (see,
        e.g., Luke 6:38, Matthew 6:33). We make a mistake
        when we fail to point out to our children the
        practical as well as the moral reasons for obedience.
        God promises material blessings to those who obey.
        Hebrews 11 points out some “exceptions” in the timing
        of the blessings, but whatever the timing, they are

    4. Read 1 Kings 2:4. Is this advice contrary to salvation by
      faith? (This promise was repeated to Solomon by God in 1
      Kings 9:4-6. David and God are not talking about salvation
      here. They are talking about how you live your life and
      God’s blessings upon godly living.)

      1. Did this happen? Did David’s descendants remain on
        the throne of Israel forever? (Solomon and his
        descendants did not follow God’s law. However this
        promise (despite failures of Solomon’s descendants)
        was fulfilled in Jesus. See 2 Samuel 7:12-16 and
        Matthew 1:1.)

  2. Final Practical Instructions

    1. Read 1 Kings 2:5-6. What do you think about this advice?

      1. Would Solomon have done this on his own? (I doubt it.
        You will remember from last week that Joab was part
        of the conspiracy to make Adonijah king. Since
        Solomon did not kill Adonijah, I think he would have
        been unlikely to kill Joab.)

        1. Why did David tell Solomon to kill Joab when
          David never killed him? (This really seems to be
          an odd situation. However, when you consider
          David’s personality – that he never disciplined
          his sons – it fits that David did not discipline
          Joab either. In addition, Joab was the one who
          followed David’s instructions to put Uriah
          (Bathsheba’s husband) in the area of battle
          where he would be killed. ( 2 Samuel 11:14-15)
          This, like many other situations, deprived David
          of the “moral” authority to have Joab killed for
          killing others. However, David’s instructions to
          Solomon give a just basis for executing Joab.
          Solomon has the “moral authority” to do this, it
          is just and it will help to protect Solomon’s

    2. Read 1 Kings 2:7-9. Remembering the case of Shimei, would
      you want to enter into a contract with David? (The
      distinction made by David is not supported in American
      law. You are as guilty of killing someone if you tell
      someone else to do it as you are when you do it yourself.
      If this were a proper way to look at the “promise” to
      Shimei, then David could have had Joab kill him at any

      1. Can you think of any proper reason for David to order
        the death of Shimei? (If you have time, read 1 Kings
        2:36-46. In all of this Shimei seems to admit the
        reasonableness of Solomon’s actions. I think the key
        to considering this in the proper light is vv. 44-46.
        These verses reveal that Shimei was a security risk
        for Solomon. With his death (and that of a few
        others) Solomon’s throne was “firmly established.”)

    3. 1 Kings 2:13-46 tells us that Solomon followed David’s
      instructions (and more) and ultimately executed those who
      were a risk to his kingdom. The practical result was that
      Solomon was now firmly in charge. Let’s move on to more
      pleasant topics.

  3. The Dream

    1. Read 1 Kings 3:5-6. If God came to you and said, “What
      would you like?” What would you tell God?

      1. Would you agree that God blessed David by giving him
        a son to succeed him? Is this true when applied to
        your own children? (No doubt. Parents are blessed by
        children who follow in their path of allegiance and
        service to God.)

    2. Read 1 Kings 3:7-9. What do you think of Solomon’s
      request? Would you have made the same request?

      1. Is the offer made to Solomon made to us today?

      2. Consider Solomon’s request in light of the carnage of
        the second part of 1 Kings 2. Does what Solomon did
        seem more reasonable in light of his request in 1
        Kings 7-9? (Yes. Solomon was essentially following
        David’s instructions. Solomon says to God, “I’m new
        at this job, I’m not sure what to do, I need wisdom
        to do it correctly.” If Solomon were not sure what
        to do, it would make perfect sense for him to follow
        his father’s commands exactly.)

        1. I used the word “wisdom” here, but what does
          Solomon actually request God to be able to
          understand? (He asks to be able “to distinguish
          between right and wrong.”)

          1. Is that wisdom?

          2. Is the ability to distinguish between
            right and wrong something you seek to
            better understand?

    3. Read 1 Kings 3:10-12. What did you want God to give you?
      What does God say is a superior request?

    4. Read 1 Kings 3:13. Why does God now give Solomon what he
      did not ask for?

      1. Is this offer only available to Solomon? Or, is it
        also available to you? (Read Matthew 6:33. This is an
        offer made to us all. If we first seek God’s kingdom,
        He promises us “things.” These things, according to
        Matthew 6:32, are the same things “the pagans run
        after.” Compare Malachi 3:10. God says pay a faithful
        tithe to Him (make Him first) and He will give you
        blessings for which “you will not have room.” This
        is talking (in part) about real stuff because
        spiritual blessings do not take up any room. This
        goes back to the earlier reference to the promises
        and warnings of Deuteronomy 28.)

    5. Read 1 Kings 3:14. What other conditional blessing does
      God offer to Solomon? (Long life.)

      1. Is this also offered to us today? (A number of Bible
        texts suggest just that. See Proverbs 3:13-16,
        Ephesians 6:2-3, Deuteronomy 6:2, Exodus 20:12.)

    6. Read 1 Kings 3:15. Oh no! It turns out this was just a
      dream. Guess you can forget the lessons from this, right?
      Or, wrong? (Read 1 Kings 3:28. This was not Solomon’s mind
      playing tricks on him while he slept. This was God
      speaking to him through a dream.)

    7. Friend, what about you? Is your primary goal in life to
      please God in everything you do? Do you want to be able
      to discern between right and wrong? Have you ever thought
      about how this would change your life? God promises
      blessings to those who make His will first in their life.
      Will you decide today to make God first in your life?

  4. Next week: The Rise and Fall of the House of Solomon.