1 Kings #02: an exposition of 1 Kings 2:1-46. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, January 18, 2015.
It was a time of transition. King David had reigned for a generation but now he was old and somewhat detached. His son, Adonijah, made a play for power. He had the backing of the religious establishment and the military but thanks to the intervention of Nathan the prophet, Adonijah’s plan was spoiled. Solomon was established as king. In this transition we learn something about God’s kingdom. We learn what principles govern it and more importantly who ultimately determines all things. Our text this evening is 1 Kings chapter 2.
Text: 1 Kings 2:1-46
As part of the “former prophets” the book of Kings (1 & 2) covers that 400 years from the beginning of Solomon’s reign to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. It is a story filled with mystery, intrigue, power, and faith. Throughout we witness God’s covenant faithfulness against the unfaithfulness of Israel and her kings. Through it all the invisible hand of Providence guides the nation’s destiny. The danger in dealing with biblical narrative is that we walk away with nothing more than a history lesson. This is what happened back then and it has little or nothing to do with us. Or we “spiritualize” the text and it has everything to do with us and had no meaning when it actually happened! The goal is to understand its meaning in context and draw from what it meant then principles or truths that relate to us in our context.
As we work through the second chapter I think we come away understanding that…
Thesis: God establishes His kingdom by His own means according to His will and purpose.
In other words, God is sovereign.
History is His story.
Kings, leaders, individuals make their own choices, according to their own desires yet His hand guides all things. Adonijah, for his own glory, sought to take the throne. Yet his choice set in motion a series of events that eventual caused David to do what he should have done all along and Solomon (God’s choice) is declared king of Israel.
As we come to the text Solomon has been made king.
Adonijah has been granted reprieve (allowed to go down to his house; isn’t executed).
Remember the words of Solomon, “If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” (1 Kings 1:51)
As we explore our text I want to point out 2 truths and then draw a couple of conclusions.
- A shocking yet relevant truth: obedience is the means of establishing the kingdom. (2:1-4)
- A troubling yet necessary principle: securing the kingdom demands the exercising of divine justice. (2:13-46)
Such a purging may seem unthinkable to us but it will happen again with the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom. The final Davidic King will follow the same principle in establishing His kingdom:
so will it be at the close of the age.
41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:40-43)
God establishes His kingdom by His own means according to His will and purpose.
Another conclusion that relates directly to us.
Because the kingdom of God is established by His means according to His will and purpose we are not free to do as we please within the church. The church is governed by the Lord of the Church.
For too long, in Baptist life, we’ve focus on democratic autonomy.
Some Baptist say, “The Baptist church is the truest democracy.”
That’s not true!
We are not governed by mob rule or the rule of the majority.
We are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We are bound by the Word of God.
We are not autonomous – a law unto ourselves.
We are under the law of Christ.