Journey Through The Scriptures
Lesson 1: Solomon’s Turbulent Rise to Power
(Scripture to Read: 2 Samuel 12:24–25; 1 Kings 1:1–2:46)
For many people, the mention of the name Solomon evokes images of wisdom, wealth, and royal power that are unrivaled in history. Solomon was not the eldest son of King David, and thus was not the next in line to inherit David’s throne. But God passed over Adonijah, Solomon’s older brother, choosing Solomon to be Israel’s next king. One indication of God’s favor on Solomon was the name God Himself gave Solomon: “Jedidiah” (2 Samuel 12:25), meaning “beloved of the Lord.” David vowed to Bathsheba that Solomon would succeed him, but there was plenty of intrigue in Israel’s royal family as Adonijah schemed to take power. As the aged King David fell ill and remained in bed, Adonijah claimed the throne and began celebrating his ascension.
Since this was done secretly, many in the royal court did not know what was happening. The prophet Nathan, who had advised David for many years, informed Bathsheba and Solomon of Adonijah’s actions, and warned them that their lives were in danger. Bathsheba moved quickly, urging David to declare Solomon as king. This was done, and then it remained for Solomon, probably only twenty years old, to deal with the enemies who wanted him not only dethroned, but dead! Several plotters, including Adonijah, lost their lives as Solomon consolidated his power and ended the turbulent times during which he came to Israel’s throne.
- How could King David assure Bathsheba that Solomon would be Israel’s king?
- Why did Adonijah want to claim the throne?
- Why did Solomon interpret Adonijah’s request to marry Abishag as an attempt to gain the throne?
- Why did Solomon order the execution of people such as Joab and Adonijah?
Something to Think About
The rise of King Solomon is a wonderful example of the Lord’s favor. This study reminds us of both the blessing that God has in store for those who are faithful to Him, and the futility of trying to circumvent God’s will by human scheming. God fulfills His promises to those who serve Him, no matter what other people may do.