Sunday School and Sunday Worship
This Week’s Readings
22 May 2018
King David was now a very old man and needed nursing.
Prince Adonijah – born after Absalom and a good-looking man – began
to talk publicly about being his father’s successor on the throne. Like Absalom,
he was a favourite son; David let him do what he liked. He now set himself up
as king – with a chariot and horsemen and fifty soldiers to lead his cavalcade,
just like Absalom in his bid to be king. He came to an understanding with
General Joab, the commander-in-chief, and Abiathar the priest, men who had
been loyal to King David. He failed to win the support of the priest Zadok, the
prophet Nathan and the Guards and Captain Benaiah. His coronation was
arranged. A sacrificial feast was held by the Serpent’s Stone near Fuller’s Well;
in the Kidron Valley south-west of the city. He invited all his brother princes and
the royal officials, but not Nathan or Captain Benaiah or the Guards – or his
brother Solomon. The coronation ceremony began.
News of all this soon spread. The prophet Nathan went immediately to
Bathsheba, David’s favourite wife, the mother of Solomon. “Have you heard
what’s happening?” he said. “Prince Adonijah is being crowned king – without
his Majesty knowing anything about it. Your life and Solomon’s are in danger.
Let me give you some advice. Seek an audience with the king and say this to
him: ‘Didn’t your Majesty promise me that your son Solomon should succeed to
the throne? Why, then, is Prince Adonijah being crowned king?’ I’ll wait till
you’ve started talking to him and then come hurriedly into the room and support
what you are saying.”
Bathsheba did as she was told and she had just finished speaking when
Nathan came into the room. “Nathan the prophet asks for an audience with
your Majesty,” the king was told. Nathan bowed before him in homage. He
reported that Adonijah was being crowned at that very moment. “Call
Bathsheba over to me,” said the king. She came and stood in front of him. “In
GOD’s name who has always come to my rescue,” he said “what I promised to
do I will do – and I will do it now.”
Bathsheba bowed in homage. “Long live your Majesty!” she said.
“Call Zadok and Nathan and Captain Benaiah into my presence,” he
commanded. The three men stood before him. “Order my officers on parade,”
he said. “Escort Prince Solomon, mounted on my royal mule, to Bubbling Spring
in the Kidron Valley. Let Zadok and Nathan crown him. Let the bugles blow and
let everybody shout ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Escort him to the throne-room and
let him take possession of my throne. He shall be my successor and king of the
whole country, North and South. This is my will.”
Prince Adonijah heard the noise of the coronation. “What does the
shouting mean?” asked General Joab. While he was asking the question,
Jonathan, Abiathar’s son burst in.
“Come in!” Prince Adonijah called out. “A good man like you must be
bringing good news.”
“I’m not, The shouting you heard was the shouting at prince Solomon’s
coronation. King David has made a royal proclamation. Zadok and Nathan
and Captain Benaiah and the Guards have carried it out. The noise you heard
was the royal procession going back into the city. What is more – Solomon has
taken his seat on the royal throne. All King David’s officers are now
congratulating him on his decision, and he is acknowledging them. He has
confirmed his proclamation.”
The guests were terrified and were soon gone. Prince Adonijah was so
frightened that he ran to the royal shrine and clung to the altar there.
Solomon ordered Adonijah to take no part in public life.
Not long after, the old king died.
1 Kings 1.1-53 , WQ 86
Prayer of the week
the storm is life and life is the storm
and there is no escaping it;
but what matters is that you are in the storm with us,
a beacon and a presence that is sure.
(From Madagascar, www.cms-uk.org/prayer-month.htm Used with permission.)