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I Kings 1-2; Psalms 37; 71; 94     Listen Podcast

 

 

David gets heat (I Kings 1:1-4)

1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

Notice how I Kings begins in verse 1, "Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat." Actually, when compared to other Old Testament personalities, David wasn't that old - just 70 according to computations based upon II Samuel 5:4-5 (see notes). There we are told that David began reigning at 30 and reigned for 40 years...70 years altogether. Nevertheless, "he gat no heat." You will notice that King David's relationship with Abishag was simply as a nurse who also lent herself to keep him warm at night. Verse 4 says, "...but the king knew her not." As far as a formal relationship goes, we'll see later on that David had obviously taken her as wife or concubine. We assume so because Solomon, David's successor, had power over her after David's death, like a successive king over the previous king's wives/concubines (see chapter 2, below).

Can you say King Adonijah? (I Kings 1:5-10)

5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.
7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.
8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.
9 And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants:
10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.

Adonijah was David's son...and older than Solomon. Of course he felt that he should be the new successor to Israel's throne. As a matter of fact, the Army Chief of Staff, Joab supported him, and so did Abiathar, the Speaker of the House (actually he was the High Priest of Israel, co-serving with Zadok). However, Zadok (the other high priest), Benaiah (chief counselor to David and one of his mighty men of II Samuel 23, see notes) and Nathan just couldn't say King Adonijah; they were in a position to put a stop to it despite Adonijah's self crowning and royal sacrifice.

I suppose Adonijah felt the throne was legitimately his. According to II Samuel 3:2-4 (see notes), Adonijah was the oldest living son of David (assuming Chaleab, son #2 must have died). Son #1, Amnon, had been killed by son #3, Absalom (who died in the attempted overthrow) leaving Adonijah, who was born way before Solomon...with several other sons born to David in between. You will recall that Solomon was actually conceived as a consolation prize for Bathsheba (II Samuel 12:24, see notes) after the death of their baby son who was conceived in adultery. And with the support of some influential people like General Joab and High Priest Abiathar, Adonijah thought he could successfully do what his full-blooded brother, Absalom, had failed to do - hijack the throne of Israel back in II Samuel 15 (see notes).

By the way, David had gone to great extremes in I Chronicles 22 (see notes) to make certain that his successor would be Solomon. He even made a public declaration to the leadership of Israel at that time. Adonijah's attempt here is very devious.

When only your Mama can help (I Kings 1:11-27)

11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?
12 Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.
13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?
14 Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.
15 And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.
16 And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?
17 And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne.
18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not:
19 And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called.
20 And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
21 Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.
22 And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.
23 And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.
24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?
25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah.
26 But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called.
27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?

Hmmm...the prophet Nathan was left out of the loop of movers and shakers in the Adonijah-for-king conspiracy. He devises a plan with Bathsheba to get word to King David about what is taking place. Bathsheba will tell David what Adonijah is up to, and Nathan will afterward confirm it. David's nearly dead, but not too dead to listen to a plea from Bathsheba to keep his promise regarding her son, Solomon, becoming King. Then Nathan steps in, confirming to David Bathsheba's words. After hearing Nathan's confirmation, old-man King David prepares to move into action.

David: Not King Adonijah, but King Solomon (I Kings 1:28-53)

28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. 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 Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.
32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king.
33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:
34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon.
35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.
36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too.
37 As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.
38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon.
39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.
40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.
41 And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar?
42 And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings.
43 And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king.
44 And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule:
45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard.
46 And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.
47 And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed.
48 And also thus said the king, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it.
49 And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.
50 And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
51 And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword.
52 And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.
53 So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.

Let's fix this kingship hijacking right now. To do so, we need Nathan, Benaiah and Zadok. Under the authority of David, they officially anoint Solomon King before witnesses of Israel - even at the same time Adonijah has his royal celebration going on. Nothing dampens a you're-the-new-king celebration like finding out you're not the king. Well, that drained the fun right out of Adonijah's party; the guests trembled at the news of Solomon's coronation...and left the party. Wimpy ol' Adonijah panics; he makes haste to the altar and hangs onto the altar horns. Who's going to kill a guy hanging onto the altar horns?

Which altar? Note the following conjecture from the "Commentary of the Old Testament" by Keil & Delitzsch:

The question to what altar Adonijah fled, whether to the altar at the ark of the covenant in Zion, or to the one at the tabernacle at Gibeon, or to the one built by David on the threshing-floor of Araunah, cannot be determined with certainty. It was probably to the first of these, however, as nothing is said about a flight to Gibeon, and with regard to the altar of Araunah it is not certain that it was provided with horns like the altars of the two sanctuaries.

For a clarification regarding the existence of two tabernacles during this period, click here.

Gracious Solomon passes word to Adonijah to appear before him - no harm if Adonijah displays the qualities of a good, non-seditious brother. Adonijah has two choices: Acknowledge Solomon as king or die - easy choice. Well...Adonijah stays alive after his meeting with Solomon...for now. Later in chapter 2 Adonijah asks for David's nurse, Abishag, in marriage (see below). That request earned him an immediate trip to the hereafter...and no hand in marriage.

No old-age dementia for David (I Kings 2:1-12)

1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,
2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;
3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
4 That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
5 Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet.
6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.
7 But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.
8 And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.
9 Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.
10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
11 And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
12 Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.

David's on his death bed; it's time to give some parting words to Solomon. David draws from God's words to Joshua (Joshua 1:7, see notes) after the death of Moses in verse 3 when he tells Solomon, "And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself."

In verse 4, David recollects the provisions of the eternal nature of the Davidic Covenant first stated in II Samuel 7:12-16 (see notes). David then recollects some unfinished business which he relates to Solomon. Joab? He needs to die (he's executed in verses 28-34). Who said life was fair? Joab had saved David's bacon on numerous occasions, but David apparently always resented his nephew Joab's initiative. He cites as justification for Joab's execution the Abner incident of II Samuel 3 (see notes) and the Amasa incident of II Samuel 20:4-12 (see notes). Add to that Joab's support of Adonijah and...well...you know, Joab's gotta go.

Now...as far as Barzillai's boys - good men - watch over them. This was per an offer David made to Barzillai back in II Samuel 16:31-43 (see notes) for the kindness Barzillai had shown to David during that whole Absalom-coup episode.

And then there's Shimei. Remember how he cursed David and threw rocks at him when David fled Jerusalem for his life back in II Samuel 16:5-14 (see notes)? David forgave him - well sort of (II Samuel 19:16-30, see notes). Actually he promised not to kill him - too bad that promise didn't extend to David's successor; he tells Solomon to make certain Shimei gets his expedited trip to the afterlife (verse 9). And then...David dies.

Adonijah makes a bad tactical error (I Kings 2:13-25)

13 And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.
14 He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on.
15 And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother’s: for it was his from the LORD.
16 And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.
17 And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.
18 And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.
19 Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand.
20 Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.
21 And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife.
22 And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.
23 Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.
24 Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.
25 And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.

There's a new king on Israel's throne, and he's cleaning a little house. Poor ol' Adonijah - what is he thinking? Already treading on thin ice, he asks for Abishag's hand in marriage through Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. Abishag was King David's young nurse in his dying days; she saw and heard it all. It seems like a treacherous move, don't you think? Well, Solomon thought so. Adonijah, forget the marriage license; here's your execution decree; Benaiah, make it so! Incidentally, oaths were very sacred among the Hebrews. I'm struck by the fact that Solomon promises his mama in verse 20, "Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay." That's regarding her request for Adonijah to be permitted to marry Abishag. However, after hearing Bathsheba's request, he speaks harshly to his mother in verse 24 and proclaims, "Adonijah shall be put to death this day." Perhaps it was his promise to his mama without actually hearing the request that led him to have Adonijah killed. He can't marry Abishag if he's dead!

Out with the enemies of the new King of Israel (I Kings 2:26-46)

26 And unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death: but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou barest the ark of the Lord GOD before David my father, and because thou hast been afflicted in all wherein my father was afflicted.
27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
28 Then tidings came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
29 And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.
30 And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.
31 And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father.
32 And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.
33 Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD.
34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
35 And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the host: and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar.
36 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither.
37 For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head.
38 And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
39 And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath.
40 And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.
41 And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.
42 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good.
43 Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the LORD, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?
44 The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;
45 And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.
46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Now, it's time for Abiathar, the less-than-loyal high priest, to lose his cushy job and go into exile. Hey, it beats execution!. It should be noted that Abiathar's loss of his high-priest role was prophesied all the way back in Eli's day from whom Abiathar was descended. See the summary on I Samuel 2:27-36 for the details of this prophecy by clicking here. That prophecy is recounted here in verse 27. Zadok, you're the man - the only high priest now! Thanks for your loyalty.

Then, there's Joab, David's right-hand man for so many years. He was a man with a lot of personal initiative who many times took matters into his own hands and helped King David immensely, but not always to David's liking. Realizing his predicament here in having supported Adonijah as king, Joab flees to the horns of that altar for safety (which altar? see notes above). "Nothing will happen to me while I'm hanging onto this altar!" he must have conjectured. It worked for Adonijah. Wrong! His retirement benefits are canceled (so to speak).

Then Shimei (see above) is placed under house arrest. Yeah, but Solomon will eventually forget about Shimei right? Say...after three years or so? Wrong! Shimei takes his last business trip. Benaiah, you know what you gotta do! Shimei is executed. So, Solomon's kingdom is put onto solid footing in short order after David's death.

The wise living in a wicked world (Psalm 37)

A Psalm of David.
1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

Written by David, we get a general placement of this Psalm in David's life from verse 25, "I have been young, and now am old;" David contrasts the righteous from the wicked and the rewards awaiting the righteous compared to the consequences awaiting the wicked. We see in I Kings 2 (see above) that David helped that process along a little. Perhaps David is writing this Psalm during his fainting days on his death bed. Look at verse 38, "But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off."

You will notice that the style of this Psalm is like the style of the Book of Proverbs.

I may be old, but I trust in you (Psalm 71)

1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.
6 By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.
7 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.
8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
9 Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,
11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.
12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.
13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.
16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!
20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.
22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

We are not actually told that David wrote this one. I find verse 9 rather amusing, "Cast me not off in the time of old age;" That sounds like David. The author seems to be opting out of mandatory retirement. He seems to be praying to God, "I'll praise you, and you bless me." Another verse in this Psalm indicates that this was written in David's twilight years - verse 18, "Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come." This author maintained his close relationship with God right down to the end of his life; that does sound like David.

Let God take care of the vengeance (Psalm 94)

1 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.
2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.
3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?
4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?
5 They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.
6 They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.
7 Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.
8 Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?
9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?
10 He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?
11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;
13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
14 For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17 Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.
18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.
19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
22 But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

In this Psalm the unknown author calls upon God to judge the wickedness of the enemies of God's people. He doesn't pull any punches. Verse 14 seems to allude to the covenants God made with Abraham and David, "For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance." A promise is a promise.

Here's a brief outline of this Psalm:



For commentary on another passage, click here.


Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner