1 Kings 2:3
And keep the charge of the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commandments, ordinances, and decrees, as is written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you turn,
A Royal Father's Last WordsJ. Waite 1 Kings 2:1-4
FarewellsE. De Pressense 1 Kings 2:1-11
A Charge from a Dying KingA. Rowland 1 Kings 2:2, 3

The religion of God is the religion of man. True religion is the perfecting of our humanity.

I. MAN WAS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. This is His essential characteristic. The more He reflects this image, the more truly manly He is. The religion of the Bible restores His manhood.

II. THERE IS NO FACULTY IN MAN WHICH DOES NOT FIND ITS COMPLEMENT AND ITS DEVELOPMENT IN GOD. His reason finds in God alone the truth which it seeks. His heart only finds an object adequate to its power of loving in the God who is Love. His conscience has for its ideal and its law the Divine holiness. "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). His will derives its power alone from God.

1. The Son of God was the Son of man, and realized the true idea of humanity in His holy life.

2. The religion of God honours and exalts man, even as falsehood and error degrade and debase him.

3. The Divine morality is in profound harmony with true human morality, that law which is written in the natural conscience. The petty religiousness which says, "Touch not, taste not, handle not" (Colossians 2:21), and creates all sorts of artificial duties, is not in accordance with true piety, the one great commandment of which - love to God and man - approves itself at once to the gospel and to the conscience.

4. Be a man means, finally, Do thy duty like a man. Be one of the violent who take the kingdom by force. Let us be careful not to effeminate our Christianity by a soft sentimentalism. Let us learn from the Son of God to be truly men "after God's own heart." - E. DE P.

Joab had turned after Adonijah.
Joab was David's nephew, the second of the three sons of his sister Zeruiah. His youngest brother, Asahel, famous for his swiftness in running, was killed by Abner at the battle of Gibeon. The oldest, Abishai, a brave, fierce, revengeful man, was always at his uncle's side, and rendered him invaluable service. But Joab, greatest in military prowess, as well as most statesmanlike, reached the place of power next the king himself. He treacherously killed Abner, partly in revenge for his brother's death and partly lest he should hold under David the same post of commander-in-chief that he had held under Saul. The king was grieved and outraged at this act, and compelled Joab to attend Abner's funeral in sackcloth and with rent robe. Still, induced, no doubt, by his pre-eminent fitness, he gave him Abner's place. Joab had fairly won this by accepting the challenge of David to scale the rock of Jebus and thus capture the fortress that was to become the national capital So far as defence and conquest are concerned he may be called the founder of the kingdom. Joab was loyal to his sovereign through a long life. He was loyal against many temptations to be otherwise. From the time of Abner's death David feared his impetuous, passionate nephews; indeed, he said at the funeral, "I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me" (2 Samuel 3:39). Joab could not have been uninfluenced by this fact; it is difficult for an inferior to retain respect for a superior who he knows fears him, or whom he regards as in any essential particular a weaker man than himself. Moreover, he was in the secret of his master's great crime — guilty, indeed, as an accessory, but not so guilty as the principal, and so with another consciousness of superiority which worked against his devotion. And monarchy was new in Israel. The king reigned more by virtue of his personal power than of an established habit of obedience on the part of his people. There were the incessant intrigues against the throne that to this day mark all Oriental governments. A score of times Joab must have been solicited to join the fortunes of this or that pretender, to accept anything that he chose to ask, to escape the growing ill-will of his sovereign and avenge the repeated slights that he had suffered. Against all solicitations he had stood firm year after year. But now David is near his end — in fact, is almost comatose. It is known that he has promised the succession to a younger son, Solomon. The legitimist party, who favour the oldest son, Adonijah, determine not to wait for the king's death, but to at once seize the throne. It is particulariy odious treason against a dying and presumably helpless man. And it is especially pitiful to find the aged Joab engaged in it. A few years before he had resisted the pretensions of the fascinating and popular Absalom, and at the risk of his own life had put him to death, as he deserved. But meanwhile his moral fibre has deteriorated. He lacks the robust virtue of other years. Even the thought of his dying sovereign and of the great things that they had passed through together cannot hold him to loyalty. So he "turns after Adonijah, though he had not turned after Absalom." The theory is commonly held that old men and women are safe from temptation. We talk about character being formed, settled, fixed. We speak of unassailable virtue. We devote all our skill and energy to safeguarding the young, which is right; but we neglect to throw any protection about the middle-aged, which is wrong. We treat ourselves in the same fashion, assuming that, say, after middle life we are in small peril of going astray. We accordingly subject our virtues to strain to which we would not have thought of exposing them twenty or thirty years earlier. Hence every community is frequently shocked by acts of amazing folly, vice, and even crime on the part of those who were supposed to have outlived all temptation in such directions. Hence we have the proverb, "Count no man happy until he is dead" — until he has passed beyond the possibility of throwing away by one stupendous blunder or sin the accumulated good reputation of three or four score years. We say of such a man, "He was old enough to know better," which is in effect a confession that knowing better by no means carries with it the strength to do better. Hamlet regards it as the gravamen of his mother's offence in her criminal marriage with the king, that she had passed the age when she could plead the excuse of impetuous passions. History, literature, our own observation unite to demonstrate that, while youth is imperilled by temptation, age is not safe, and to give some countenance to the rather harsh maxim that "there is no fool like an old fool." The fact is, that the danger that lurks in temptation is not a matter of age at all. Personality is of course the main thing. We are tempted accordingly to our heredity, our appetites, our constitutional or acquired weaknesses, our individual proclivities toward this or that sin. These vary at different periods of life. Hence some temptations are strongest in youth, others in maturity, others in old age. There is a sense, too, in which youth is weaker to resist than maturity or age. The moral fibre, like the physical, is not yet toughened. Physicians tell us that the period of greatest peril to life, after infancy, is from eighteen to twenty-five or thirty years. All vital organs have developed rapidly; one looks most robust; he will quickly take high physical training in any direction, and, if he endures it, gain marvellous power. But at the same time, he lacks high efficiency to resist or throw off disease. Add to this such imprudence as must accompany the unthinking conviction that nothing can harm him — that he may eat and sleep and exercise as irregularly as he pleases — and it is not marvellous that so many young men die .in their years of greatest promise and apparently highest vitality. They are carried off by disease before they have learned their own powers of endurance, or, knowing them, gained the moral courage to live well within them. It is not an irrational solicitude, therefore, that parents feel for the health of their sons and daughters even after they are old enough to be supposed to wisely care for themselves. Here the moral and spiritual nature affords a close analogy to the physical. Time brings to the soul certain qualifications to resist temptation that nothing else can bring, such as an intelligent fear of doing wrong and an accurate conception of its pernicious consequences. Especially it brings the habit of resisting the wrong and doing the right. And it is to that settled habit more than to anything else, except the immediate grace of God, that we all owe our moral safety. But, whatever the age, the real peril of temptation lies in its being long continued. It was not because Joab was old that he turned after Adonijah, while a few years before he had not turned after Absalom, but because at that time the temptation of disloyalty to his king had not been long enough at work to undermine his powers of resistance. When, however, Adonijah raised the standard of revolt and invited Joab to join him, the soliciting voice had spoken so many times, and each time more alluringly, that his ability to say no had been exhausted. He threw away reputation, honour, life itself, not because he was a weak old man — for he was not that — but because he had exposed himself through a series of years to the temptation that he had always hitherto been able to master, but that now at last mastered him. The fact is — and herein lies the reason for the young standing so grandly as they do — that few are swept away by the first attack of temptation. The fortress of our instinctive love of the right and our careful early training is not usually carded by assault, but by sapping and mining. The bravest army ever marshalled cannot for ever stand such dogged attacks from an enemy with resources sufficient to keep them up indefinitely. Nor can the strongest human nature stand such attacks of temptation. No matter how confident you and I are of the quality of our moral fibre, we will act unwisely in subjecting it to too prolonged a strain. Indeed, this law holds throughout all nature. We speak, for instance, of the life of a steel rail, meaning the period during which it can do its work. The incessant hammering on it of locomotive and car wheels finally changes the relation of its molecules until their coherence is so weakened that the strength of the metal is gone. Suddenly there is an unaccountable railway accident. It means only that rail or bridge or locomotive had been strained, not too hard, but too long. They stood through Absalom's day, but could not stand through Adonijah's. Bacteriologists say that the germs of many or most diseases exist in our bodies while we are in good health; but we are able to resist them. There comes a time, however, when such resistance is weakened by that clogging of the system that we call a cold, and we have pneumonia; or when our foes are reinforced by impure water, and we nave typhoid fever, we can withstand for a long time — a marvellously long time — the poison of a foul atmosphere, but the most robust constitution will finally succumb to it. We are horrified by stories of plagues and pestilences, as the yellow fever, cholera, the black death. They sweep over a country with awful devastation. But they pass by, and, after all, do not kill one where bad ventilation and unsanitary drainage, with their endless persistence, kill tern The mighty storms that sweep the Matterhorn throw down with awful crash only the rocks that the constantly trickling and freezing rills of water have through years or centuries insensibly crowded to the edge of the cliff. We may be too proud to believe that we who have withstood so long can ever yield, but this is the very "pride that goeth before destruction." "I do not allow myself to look at a bad picture," said Sir Peter Lely, the artist, "for if I do my brush is certain to take a hint from it." The only safe way to treat a temptation that has begun to meet us frequently is the way of this wise book: "Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass on." And even this counsel, good as we at once recognise it to be, we will not heed unless we seek Divine .grace. And that is ready: "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it." Trust Him and you shall not turn after either Absalom or Adonijah.

(T. S. Hamlin, D. D.)

We sometimes think that we have done with a sin, because it is dormant for a time. We think that it is dead, that under no circumstances can we be troubled with it any more. But it is very often only in a state of suspended animation Circumstances are against its showing its vitality, but that vitality is there, and will show itself when circumstances are favourable. In a lump of ice delivered to a restaurant lately there was embedded a frog. After having been on exhibition for some time the ice was smashed, and the frog was like a stone. It was put near the stove, and in two hours it was as lively as possible. It had been ten months frozen up. Many a sin that we thought dead has got near some stove — some warm temptation — and we have had sad experience of its tenacity of life.


Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord
Joab had passed a proud and prosperous life, without submitting himself to the authority, or seeking the favour of God. He was a cruel, revengeful, and imperious man. He suffered his own vindictive spirit to imbrue his hands in causeless blood, in his long and prospered life, he might have been the instrument of vast blessings to others. But the man who lives without God cannot live as a blessing to his fellow-men. The blessing of God is not with any thing that he does. Joab comes to old age, and his character remains entirely unchanged. He engages with Adonijah in his unnatural rebellion against the aged king, to whose cause he had been so faithful while the power was with him, and thus prepares himself for the punishment which must in justice overtake him. David delivers him over to Solomon his son, with the injunction, "thou knowest what Joab did to me," etc. He fled to Gibeon, and concealed himself for protection in the tabernacle of the Lord, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. But there was no protection for impenitent guilt as the altar. The Divine law was, in regard to the murderer, "thou shalt take him even from Mine altar, that he may die." And Joab, the aged rebel, perishes in guilt, even while he clings to the altar for protection. No desire for God led him to the tabernacle. A fear of punishment drove him thither. He had no longing to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord. He would far rather dwell in the tents of ungodliness. How very important is the admonition which is here furnished! What multitudes, like Joab, attempt to compensate for a life of sin, by an ineffectual attempt to return to God in the hour of death, and encourage themselves to hope, that their wicked and persevering neglect of Him will be wholly forgotten, if they ask His forgiveness, when they can rebel no longer! Their hearts are in the world, and they will live to that. But their future, everlasting safety, can only be with God, and they will still endeavour to die in peace with Him.

I. SUCH A RUNNING AT THE LAST TO THE TABERNACLE IS ENTIRELY DEFICIENT IN THE PROPER MOTIVE OF OBEDIENCE. The distinguishing motive of an acceptable return to God, is a love for His character, and a desire for His service. This must always be the principle which guides a sinner in a true return of his soul to God. A godly sorrow for sin respects the honour of God which is involved in transgression. It sees the love sir Jesus, and the hatefulness of the sin which has repaid it; and turns back with mourning, for that which has crucified the Lord of Glory.

II. SUCH AN APPARENT RETURN TO GOD IN OUR LAST HOURS IS INEFFECTIVE, BECAUSE IT ALLOWS NO TIME TO ACCOMPLISH THE IMPORTANT WORK. I do not speak now of the man who has never heard the blessed tidings of a Saviour, until this late hour; but of the man whose life has been passed amidst the full privileges of the Gospel, and who has no new message to be delivered to him in the hour of his death. Such a one has professed that he had no time to perfect this return to God in his life and health, though he acknowledged it to be necessary; and he will, in fact, have no time to do it in the hours of sickness, and age, and death. It is vain to say that God may then pluck him in a moment as a brand from the burning. So He might have done at any previous time of his life. But He did not do it then; and there is not the slightest ground for hope that He will, do it now.

III. THIS PROJECTED REPENTANCE IS INEFFECTIVE FOR GOOD, BECAUSE IT IS ITSELF AN ACT OF REBELLION AGAINST GOD. He has, in abundant mercy, opened a way for sinful men to return to Him in peace. He gives them all the opportunities, all the means, and all the assistance, which they need in order to perfect this return to His favour, and then solemnly warns them that it must be done in a limited and appointed time. But what does the man do, who still looks for a more convenient season for his reconciliation unto God, but directly contradict and falsify these positive assertions of the God of Truth? And of what more positive act of rebellion against God can man be guilty, than is involved in this determination which says, man and his Creator. And what would be the effect of God's acceptance of this wilfully postponed submission to Himself, but giving countenance to rebellion against Himself, and showing a fickleness of government, the supposition of which is impossible?

IV. SUCH A PROPOSED RETURN IS INEFFECTIVE, BECAUSE ITS ALLOWED SUCCESS WOULD OVERTURN ALL THE PURPOSES OF GOD IN REGARD TO MEN, FOR WHICH THE GOSPEL HAS PROVIDED. Its acceptance by Him would altogether annihilate the design and operation of the Gospel The great purpose of God, in the gift of His Son, is the restoration of man frown sin to obedience; the cleansing of him from guilt and condemnation, that he may serve God in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of his life. The proper and designed operation of the Gospel is to annihilate the actual rebellion of the world; to reduce its living inhabitants into subjection to their Creator, and thus to restore His dominion here, in perfect and eternal peace. How foolish and false is that hope which can only stand upon the annihilation of the very purposes and power upon which itself depends! Nay, which can be indulged in fact and form only, because some others at least, are supposed to be guided by better principles to a safer course! The very expectation, therefore, which plans such a return to God, shuts up against itself the avenue of mercy, destroys the design and usefulness of the Gospel, and, like the scorpion in his circle of fire, puts an end to itself.

(S. H. Tyng, D. D.)

During an epidemic of cholera I remember being called up, at dead of night, to pray with a dying person. He had spent the Sabbath in going out upon an excursion, and at three on Monday morning I was standing by his bed. There was no Bible in the house, and he had often ridiculed the preacher; but before his senses left him he begged his servant to send for me. What could I do? He was unconscious; and there I stood, musing sadly upon the wretched condition of a man who had wickedly refused Christ and yet superstitiously fled to his minister.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Of Antiochus, the great persecutor of the Jewish people, it is told that during his last illness he vowed he would become a Jew himself, and go through all the world that was inhabited and declare the power of God, yet, continues the historian, "for all this, his pains would not cease, for the just judgment of God was upon him."

Abiathar, Abishag, Abner, Absalom, Achish, Adonijah, Amasa, Anathoth, Barzillai, Bathsheba, Benaiah, David, Eli, Gera, Haggith, Jehoiada, Jether, Joab, Maacah, Maachah, Ner, Shimei, Solomon, Zadok, Zeruiah
Anathoth, Bahurim, Gath, Hebron, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Kidron, Mahanaim, Shiloh
Charge, Commandments, Commands, Decrees, Doest, Instruction, Judgments, Keeping, Kept, Law, Laws, Mayest, Orders, Ordinances, Prosper, Recorded, Requirements, Requires, Rules, Statutes, Succeed, Testimonies, Thyself, Turn, Turnest, Walk, Walking, Wherever, Whithersoever, Wisely, Written
1. David, having given a charge to Solomon
3. of Reverence
5. of Joab
7. of Barzillai
8. of Shimei
10. Solomon succeeds
12. Adonijah, moving Bathsheba to ask unto Solomon for Abishag,
13. is put to death
26. Abiathar, having his life given him, is deprived of the priesthood
28. Joab fleeing to the horns of the altar, is there slain
35. Benaiah is put in Joab's room, and Zadfok in Abiathar's
36. Shimei, confined to Jerusalem, by occasion of going to Gath, is put to death.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 2:3

     1205   God, titles of
     5103   Moses, significance
     8244   ethics, and grace

1 Kings 2:1-4

     5119   Solomon, life of

1 Kings 2:1-12

     5087   David, reign of

1 Kings 2:2-4

     8208   commitment, to God

1 Kings 2:3-4

     5197   walking
     8251   faithfulness, to God
     8493   watchfulness, believers

The Horns of the Altar
WE MUST tell you the story. Solomon was to be the king after David, but his elder brother, Adonijah, was preferred by Joab, the captain of the host, and by Abiathar, the priest; and, therefore, they got together, and tried to steal a march upon dying David, and set up Adonijah. They utterly failed in this; and when Solomn came to the throne Adonijah was afraid for his life, and fled to the horns of the altar at the tabernacle for shelter. Solomn permitted him to find sanctuary there, and forgave
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 31: 1885

"He Ascended into Heaven:" Believe. "He Sitteth at the Right Hand of the Father...
11. "He ascended into heaven:" believe. "He sitteth at the right hand of the Father:" believe. By sitting, understand dwelling: as [in Latin] we say of any person, "In that country he dwelt (sedit) three years." The Scripture also has that expression, that such an one dwelt (sedisse) in a city for such a time. [1791] Not meaning that he sat and never rose up? On this account the dwellings of men are called seats (sedes). [1792] Where people are seated (in this sense), are they always sitting? Is
St. Augustine—On the Creeds

Whether Curiosity Can be About Intellective Knowledge?
Objection 1: It would seem that curiosity cannot be about intellective knowledge. Because, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 6), there can be no mean and extremes in things which are essentially good. Now intellective knowledge is essentially good: because man's perfection would seem to consist in his intellect being reduced from potentiality to act, and this is done by the knowledge of truth. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "the good of the human soul is to be in accordance with reason,"
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Angels have Bodies Naturally United to Them?
Objection 1: It would seem that angels have bodies naturally united to them. For Origen says (Peri Archon i): "It is God's attribute alone---that is, it belongs to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as a property of nature, that He is understood to exist without any material substance and without any companionship of corporeal addition." Bernard likewise says (Hom. vi. super Cant.): "Let us assign incorporeity to God alone even as we do immortality, whose nature alone, neither for its own sake
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Natural Law Can be Changed?
Objection 1: It would seem that the natural law can be changed. Because on Ecclus. 17:9, "He gave them instructions, and the law of life," the gloss says: "He wished the law of the letter to be written, in order to correct the law of nature." But that which is corrected is changed. Therefore the natural law can be changed. Objection 2: Further, the slaying of the innocent, adultery, and theft are against the natural law. But we find these things changed by God: as when God commanded Abraham to slay
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Whole Heart
LET me give the principal passages in which the words "the whole heart," "all the heart," are used. A careful study of them will show how wholehearted love and service is what God has always asked, because He can, in the very nature of things, ask nothing less. The prayerful and believing acceptance of the words will waken the assurance that such wholehearted love and service is exactly the blessing the New Covenant was meant to make possible. That assurance will prepare us for turning to the Omnipotence
Andrew Murray—The Two Covenants

"The King Kissed Barzillai. " 2 Sam. xix. 39
And no wonder, for David could appreciate a real man when he saw him, and so does David's Lord. I.--LOYALTY IS PRECIOUS TO THE KING OF KINGS. In the days when the son of Jesse had but few friends, it was a precious thing to be treated in the style Barzillai and his neighbours entertained him (see 2 Sam. xvii. 27-29). They were rich farmers, and had land which brought forth with abundance, so were able to act with princely hospitality to the fugitive monarch. But plenty may live with avarice, and
Thomas Champness—Broken Bread

What Manner of Man Ought not to Come to Rule.
Wherefore let every one measure himself wisely, lest he venture to assume a place of rule, while in himself vice still reigns unto condemnation; lest one whom his own guilt depraves desire to become an intercessor for the faults of others. For on this account it is said to Moses by the supernal voice, Speak unto Aaron; Whosoever he be of thy seed throughout their generations that hath a blemish, he shall not offer loaves of bread to the Lord his God (Lev. xxi. 17). And it is also immediately subjoined;
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Authorship of the Pentateuch.
The term Pentateuch is composed of the two Greek words, pente, five, and teuchos, which in later Alexandrine usage signified book. It denotes, therefore, the collection of five books; or, the five books of the law considered as a whole. 1. In our inquiries respecting the authorship of the Pentateuch, we begin with the undisputed fact that it existed in its present form in the days of Christ and his apostles, and had so existed from the time of Ezra. When the translators of the Greek version,
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

BY REV. GEORGE MILLIGAN, M.A., D.D. "There is nothing," says Socrates to Cephalus in the Republic, "I like better than conversing with aged men. For I regard them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom it is right to learn the character of the way, whether it is rugged or difficult, or smooth and easy" (p. 328 E.). It is to such an aged traveller that we are introduced in the person of Barzillai the Gileadite. And though he is one of the lesser-known characters
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Fifth Sunday after Trinity Exhortation to the Fruits of Faith.
Text: 1 Peter 3, 8-15. 8 Finally, be ye all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tender-hearted, humble-minded: 9 not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but contrariwise blessing; for hereunto were ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For, He that would love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips that they speak no guile: 11 And let him turn away from evil, and do good; Let him seek peace, and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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