Even in his last days David had to deal with problems, primarily the problem of succession. Adonijah and Solomon competed to see who would succeed David on the throne, with most of the powers-that-were, along with Bathsheba, on the side of Solomon who did become king. Solomon was such a contradiction. On the one hand, the wisest of men and writer of so much Scripture; on the other, a ruthless ruler who immediately set about to remove all opposition to his reign. He often walked in the good ways of his father, David, but he allowed his many wives and concubines to build high places of worship to the idols.
How humbly did Solomon start out. He prayed, “And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. . . . Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (3:7,9). The Lord was greatly pleased with this request and granted great wisdom to Solomon. But, again, what a contradiction: so often walking with God, but so often yielding to the world’s enticements. You know, when we think about ourselves, we are easily described in the same way: loving God but so often lukewarm, or worse, toward him. As we examine ourselves, isn’t it good to know that we have an advocate. How encouraging are John’s words: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” (1 John 2:1). Thomas Kelly (1806) put in a hymn our great hope:
The atoning work is done,
The victim’s blood is shed;
And Jesus now is gone
His people’s cause to plead:
He stands in Heaven their great high priest,
And bears their names upon His breast.