The girl was unsurpassed in beauty; she cared for the king and served him, but he had no relations with her.
I. THE AFFECTIONATE APPELLATION BY WHICH THE APOSTLE ADDRESSES HIS READERS, "Little children." "He parts from them with his warmest and most affectionate word of address." This form of address suggests:
1. The spiritual paternity of the apostle. Probably many of those to whom he was writing were his children in the Lord, begotten by his ministry - by his preaching, his prayers, and his faith. Very tender and sacred is this relationship (cf. chapter 1 John 2:1; 1 Corinthians 4:14, 15; Galatians 4:19; Philemon 1:10).
2. The spiritual affection of the apostle. This is delicately yet clearly indicated by the use of the diminutive.
3. The spiritual authority of the apostle. His relation to them, his affection for them, and his large and ripe experience, combined to invest him with sacred and commanding influence. And, as "little children," his readers needed guidance, and owed to him obedience.
II. THE IMPORTANT EXHORTATION WHICH THE APOSTLE ADDRESSES TO HIS READERS. "Keep yourselves from idols." Consider:
1. The nature of the sin to be guarded against. Idolatry. Originally it seems to have comprised two things:
(1) the attempt to represent the Divine Being by visible and material forms;
(2) the offering to these forms the worship which belongs only to God. Some are in danger to-day of falling into idolatry of this kind through the use in worship of pictures and statues designed to represent the Saviour. But the essence of idolatry is giving to another the love and reverence and devotion which are rightly due to God alone. Many make an idol of riches. Money is their god, and they devote all their powers and opportunities to the eager pursuit of it. "Covetousness... is idolatry." Others worship pleasure. They live but for amusement, and endeavour to subordinate everything to their personal gratification. And others make honour, or fame, or power, their god. We may make an idol of some beloved relative or friend - wife, husband, or child. Or, and this is in some respects worst of all, a man may make a god of himself - may think first and chiefly of himself, study his own interests and happiness, and love himself supremely. It has been well said, "Wooden idols are easily avoided, but take heed of the idols of gold. It is no difficult matter to keep from dead idols, but take heed that thou worship not the living ones, and especially thyself; for as soon as thou arrogatest to thyself either honour, or praise, or knowledge, or power, thou settest thyself in the place of God, and he has declared that he 'will not give his glory to another.'" And this sin offers the greatest dishonour and wrong and insult to God.
2. The damager of the sin to be guarded against. This may be seen from the following considerations.
(1) The worship of anything less than God cannot satisfy our spiritual nature. God has made us for himself, and our souls cannot rest until they rest in him.
(2) The worship of anything less than God dwarfs and degrades man's spiritual nature. The exercise of real worship transforms the worshipper into likeness to the object worshipped; e.g., the idolatry of riches will gradually mould man into a groveling, grasping miser; of power, into a ruthless, despotic tyrant, etc.
(3) The worship of anything less than God will lead to bitter disappointment and irretrievable loss. Sooner or later, the idolater will be awakened from his delusions, and then he will find that his god is a poor sham, and that, as for himself, he has "forsaken the Fountain of living waters, and hewed him out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." And how terrible is death to the idolater! Death may take from him the wife whom he loves more than he loves God, or the child, etc. And when he dies he must leave his idols behind him - his money, etc. "We brought nothing into the world, neither can we carry anything out." "When he dieth he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him." And then will arise the bitter cry, "Ye have taken away my gods; and what have I more?"
3. The method of guarding against this sin. The most effective preservative against idolatry is growing fidelity to God. He who assiduously cultivates reverent attachment and hearty devotion to him cannot fall into idolatry. "The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." - W.J.
And Benaiah... said Amen.
I. HUMAN HELPLESSNESS. Man's plans only succeed when in the way of God's Providence, and when carried out in His strength. The true, broad view of His Providence shows us a government of the world's affairs, which takes in the life of the highest and humblest, their aims, their work, their wants, their very sins and opposition, and, as here, makes all contribute to the revelation of His Son and the setting up of His kingdom. At the same time He can fulfil David's narrower plan, and secure Solomon's elevation. He can secure my private wish and His own will; He can harmonise the course, and aims, and wants, of two lives, or twenty, or a hundred, even if not to converge for many years to come. If they harmonise, it is because "He says so too." Men must strive in vain against God's purposes; or for their own, without Jehovah's "Amen." Men are, and are not, "architects of their own fortune." "Except the Lord build the house" of David, or Benaiah, or any other, "they labour in vain that build it." Babel-builders leave God out of their counsel; they must have Him in their work. Napoleon's fall dates from his words at Berlin: " I propose, and I dispose." "Man proposes, God disposes."
II. HOPE. Human effort is not to be paralysed: "I cannot make my plan absolutely secure, or any plan, therefore I will do nothing." This is fatalism. There is a responsibility for effort lying on every man. David and Benaiah must propose. This done prayerfully and submissively, man may hope for a blessing on his effort, The godly man proposes, and may hope that God will "say so too."
III. HUMILITY. Not the sullen submission which bows, and bears, and yields, because there is no choice, if He does not "say so too." But the reverent acknowledgment of a superior will to which a man loves to bow; the glad submission of every plan to the scrutiny and revision of a wise Father.
1. Let all our plans in life be conceived in this spirit. Write "D.V." upon every record of purpose and desire.
2. All must be conceived and carried out in His strength. In our vows —
Thou art not only to perform Thy part,
Thou also mine: as when the league was made,
Thou didst at once Thyself indite
And hold my hand, while I did write. — (Herbert.)
(H. J. Foster.)
PeopleAbiathar, Abishag, Absalom, Adonijah, Bathsheba, Benaiah, Cherethites, David, Haggith, Jehoiada, Joab, Jonathan, Kerethites, Nathan, Pelethites, Rei, Shimei, Solomon, Zadok, Zeruiah
PlacesEn-rogel, Gihon, Jerusalem, Serpent's Stone
TopicsBeautiful, Care, Cherished, Cohabit, Companion, Connection, Damsel, Didn't, Fair, Girl, Intimate, Intimately, King's, Lady, Maiden, Ministered, Nurse, Relations, Served, Serveth, Waited, Waiting
Outline1. Abishag cherishes David in his extreme age
5. Adonijah, David's darling, usurps the kingdom
11. By the council of Nathan
15. Bathsheba moves the king
22. And Nathan seconds her
28. David renews his oath to Bathsheba
32. Solomon, by David's appointment,
38. being anointed king by Zadok and Nathan, the people triumph
41. Jonathan bringing the news, Adonijah's guests fly
50. Adonijah, flying to the horns of the altar, is dismissed by Solomon
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 1:4
LibraryDavid Appointing Solomon
'Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. 29. And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30. Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. 31. Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Gihon, the Same with the Fountain of Siloam.
Whether Prayer Should be Vocal?
The Reign of David.
The Fact of the Redeemer's Return was Typified in the Lives of Joseph and Solomon.
Of Justification by Faith. Both the Name and the Reality Defined.
Prov. 22:06 the Duties of Parents
Tit. 2:06 Thoughts for Young Men
Christ a Complete Saviour:
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