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I Kings 1-2; Psalms 37; 71; 94 Listen
David gets heat (I Kings 1:1-4)
1 Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm.
2 Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman, a virgin, be sought for our lord the king, and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him; and let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm.”
3 So they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
4 The young woman was very lovely; and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king did not know her.
Notice how I Kings begins in verse 1, "Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm." 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 could not get warm." 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 did not know her." 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 for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
6 (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, “Why have you done so?” He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.)
7 Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed and helped Adonijah.
8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah.
9 ¶ And Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En Rogel; he also invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants.
10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, or Solomon his brother.
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 ¶ So Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know it?
12 Come, please, let me now give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon.
13 Go immediately to King David and say to him, “Did you not, my lord, O king, swear to your maidservant, saying, ‘Assuredly your son Solomon shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’
14 Then, while you are still talking there with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm your words.”
15 ¶ So Bathsheba went into the chamber to the king. (Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.)
16 And Bathsheba bowed and did homage to the king. Then the king said, “What is your wish?”
17 ¶ Then she said to him, “My lord, you swore by the LORD your God to your maidservant, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.’
18 So now, look! Adonijah has become king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know about it.
19 He has sacrificed oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army; but Solomon your servant he has not invited.
20 And as for you, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, that you should tell them who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
21 Otherwise it will happen, when my lord the king rests with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted as offenders.”
22 ¶ And just then, while she was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.
23 So they told the king, saying, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came in before the king, he bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
24 And Nathan said, “My lord, O king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne’?
25 For he has gone down today, and has sacrificed oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons, and the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest; and look! They are eating and drinking before him; and they say, “Long live King Adonijah!’
26 But he has not invited me—me your servant—nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon.
27 Has this thing been done by my lord the king, and you have not told your 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 Bathsheba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king.
29 And the king took an oath and said, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress,
30 just as I swore to you by the LORD God of Israel, saying, “Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so I certainly will do this day.”
31 ¶ Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and paid homage to the king, and said, “Let my lord King David live forever!”
32 ¶ And King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” So they came before the king.
33 The king also said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon.
34 There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, “Long live King Solomon!’
35 Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, and he shall be king in my place. For I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.”
36 ¶ Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen! May the LORD God of my lord the king say so too.
37 As the LORD has been with my lord the king, even so may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.”
38 ¶ So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and took him to Gihon.
39 Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!”
40 And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.
41 ¶ Now Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the horn, he said, “Why is the city in such a noisy uproar?”
42 While he was still speaking, there came Jonathan, the son of Abiathar the priest. And Adonijah said to him, “Come in, for you are a prominent man, and bring good news.”
43 ¶ Then Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, “No! Our lord King David has made Solomon king.
44 The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites; and they have made him ride on the king’s mule.
45 So Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon; and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard.
46 Also Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom.
47 And moreover the king’s servants have gone to bless our lord King David, saying, “May God make the name of Solomon better than your name, and may He make his throne greater than your throne.’ Then the king bowed himself on the bed.
48 Also the king said thus, “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, while my eyes see it!’ ”
49 ¶ So all the guests who were with Adonijah were afraid, and arose, and each one went his way.
50 ¶ Now Adonijah was afraid of Solomon; so he arose, and went and took hold of the horns of the altar.
51 And it was told Solomon, saying, “Indeed Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon; for look, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’ ”
52 ¶ Then Solomon said, “If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.”
53 So King Solomon sent them to bring him down from the altar. And he came and fell down before King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, “Go to your 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 near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying:
2 “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man.
3 And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn;
4 that the LORD may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, “If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
5 ¶ “Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war in peacetime, and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet.
6 Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace.
7 ¶ “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother.
8 ¶ “And see, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the LORD, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’
9 Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.”
10 ¶ So David rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David.
11 The period that David reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years he reigned in Hebron, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years.
12 Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.
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 your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn."
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 ¶ Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. So she said, “Do you come peaceably?” ¶ And he said, “Peaceably.”
14 Moreover he said, “I have something to say to you.” ¶ And she said, “Say it.”
15 ¶ Then he said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set their expectations on me, that I should reign. However, the kingdom has been turned over, and has become my brother’s; for it was his from the LORD.
16 Now I ask one petition of you; do not deny me.” ¶ And she said to him, “Say it.”
17 ¶ Then he said, “Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.”
18 ¶ So Bathsheba said, “Very well, I will speak for you to the king.”
19 ¶ Bathsheba therefore went to King Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne and had a throne set for the king’s mother; so she sat at his right hand.
20 Then she said, “I desire one small petition of you; do not refuse me.” ¶ And the king said to her, “Ask it, my mother, for I will not refuse you.”
21 ¶ So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.”
22 ¶ And King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “Now why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also—for he is my older brother—for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.”
23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, “May God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life!
24 Now therefore, as the LORD lives, who has confirmed me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has established a house for me, as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today!”
25 ¶ So King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he struck him down, and 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 it, my mother, for I will not refuse you." 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 today!" 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 to Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anathoth, to your own fields, for you are deserving of death; but I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before my father David, and because you were afflicted every time my father was afflicted.”
27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, that he might fulfill the word of the LORD which He spoke concerning the house of Eli at Shiloh.
28 ¶ Then news came to Joab, for Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom. So Joab fled to the tabernacle of the LORD, and took hold of the horns of the altar.
29 And King Solomon was told, “Joab has fled to the tabernacle of the LORD; there he is, by the altar.” Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down.”
30 So Benaiah went to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said to him, “Thus says the king, ‘Come out!’ ” ¶ And he said, “No, but I will die here.” And Benaiah brought back word to the king, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.”
31 ¶ Then the king said to him, “Do as he has said, and strike him down and bury him, that you may take away from me and from the house of my father the innocent blood which Joab shed.
32 So the LORD will return his blood on his head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword—Abner the son of Ner, the commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, the commander of the army of Judah—though my father David did not know it.
33 Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab and upon the head of his descendants forever. But upon David and his descendants, upon his house and his throne, there shall be peace forever from the LORD.”
34 ¶ So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and struck and killed him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.
35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his place over the army, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.
36 ¶ Then the king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there anywhere.
37 For it shall be, on the day you go out and cross the Brook Kidron, know for certain you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.”
38 ¶ And Shimei said to the king, “The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
39 ¶ Now it happened at the end of three years, that two slaves of Shimei ran away to Achish the son of Maachah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Look, your slaves are in Gath!”
40 So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to seek his slaves. And Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath.
41 And Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had come back.
42 Then the king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the LORD, and warn you, saying, “Know for certain that on the day you go out and travel anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word I have heard is good.’
43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the LORD and the commandment that I gave you?”
44 The king said moreover to Shimei, “You know, as your heart acknowledges, all the wickedness that you did to my father David; therefore the LORD will return your wickedness on your own head.
45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD forever.”
46 ¶ So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out and struck him down, and he died. Thus 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 ¶ Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of 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;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the LORD,
They shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
15 Their sword shall enter their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.
16 A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the LORD upholds the righteous.
18 The LORD knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
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,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.
21 The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,
But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
28 For the LORD loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue talks of justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall slide.
32 The wicked watches the righteous,
And seeks 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 you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35 I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is from 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 future 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 You, O LORD, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
2 Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
3 Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are 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 You are my hope, O Lord GOD;
You are my trust from my youth.
6 By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
7 I have become as a wonder to many,
But You are my strong refuge.
8 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,
11 Saying, “God has forsaken him;
Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”
12 O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
17 O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
19 Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?
20 You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side.
22 Also with the lute I will praise You—
And Your faithfulness, O my God!
To You I will sing with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
24 My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long;
For they are confounded,
For they are brought to shame
Who seek my hurt.
are not actually told that David wrote this one. I find verse 9 rather
amusing, "Do not cast me 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, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who 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 belongs—
O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Render punishment to the proud.
3 LORD, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked triumph?
4 They utter speech, and speak insolent things;
All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.
5 They break in pieces Your people, O LORD,
And afflict Your heritage.
6 They slay the widow and the stranger,
And murder the fatherless.
7 Yet they say, “The LORD does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob understand.”
8 Understand, you senseless among the people;
And you fools, when will you be wise?
9 He who planted the ear, shall He not hear?
He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
10 He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct,
He who teaches man knowledge?
11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man,
That they are futile.
12 Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD,
And teach out of Your law,
13 That You may give him rest from the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the LORD will not cast off His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
15 But judgment will return to righteousness,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?
Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17 Unless the LORD had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
18 If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.
19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.
20 Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law,
Have fellowship with You?
21 They gather together against the life of the righteous,
And condemn innocent blood.
22 But the LORD has been my defense,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
23 He has brought on them their own iniquity,
And shall cut them off in their own wickedness;
The LORD our God shall cut them off.
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, Nor will He forsake His inheritance." A promise is a promise.
Here's a brief outline of this Psalm: