Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today
NL Daily Devotion for Friday, October 26, 2018
by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff
The succession of kings following King David was in a precarious state. King David intended for Solomon to be king, according to the word of the Lord. But David hadn’t even died yet, and Adonijah (not one of David’s sons) had already proclaimed himself king. He was powerful and handsome (I guess that helps a king’s case?) and he had gathered a following from David’s advisers and friends. To celebrate his kingship, he gathered those folks for a feast and sacrificed to his gods. Pretty presumptuous!
Nathan (King David’s most trusted adviser) knew that if Adonijah became king, he, Solomon, Bathsheba, and anyone supporting Solomon’s succession would be killed — they were threats to Adonijah’s kingship.
Nathan made sure King David named his successor (Solomon) before his death so there would be no question who was in power. David had Solomon anointed, and then they celebrated Solomon’s kingship with horns and a procession, and Solomon sat on the throne before all of Israel. Solomon’s celebration interrupted Adonijah’s celebration — how humiliating it must have been for Adonijah!
Now the tables were turned — Adonijah was in danger for his life because he was a threat to Solomon. His guests slunk out of the feast, and Adonijah clung to the altar of the Lord. After all, Solomon couldn’t murder a man on the altar of the Lord. Adonijah made Solomon promise not to kill him. Solomon agreed, as long as Adonijah did not prove himself wicked.
The politics of our day do not end in murder, but they are no less contentious (and no less wicked). Political ads on TV and media coverage of elections are disgusting the way they cut each other down. While they may not lose their lives to murder, some lose their reputations and their livelihoods when they are dragged through the mud relentlessly.
Unfortunately, those ads are prevalent because they work. Now, if you ask anyone (yourself included), they will deny that those ads or news reports make any difference in their voting choices. But most of us get most (if not all) of our information about candidates from media. We gravitate toward the media that reports through the lens we see through. We believe what they say. When we hear what we want to hear, we let it reinforce our ideas that we are right, and we ignore the information that doesn’t prove our point.
What can we do? It’s not ideal, but if we could open ourselves to gathering information as directly from the candidates as we can (keeping in mind they will also be flavored to paint the candidates in the best light). Maybe check out their website and read what they stand for. Or read information about candidates from sources that are out of the norm for you. Try to get as much information as you can from the least biased places. Make decisions based on data rather than feeling. (That’s not easy for me to say — I do nearly everything by feeling!) And resist riding the wave of hate that’s so easy to get swept by. Be the better person. If we all did that, the world would be better for it.
Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:
1 Kings 1:28-53
King David answered, “Summon Bathsheba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. The king swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has saved my life from every adversity, as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so will I do this day.” Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and did obeisance to the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”
King David said, “Summon to me the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. There let the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ You shall go up following him. Let him enter and sit on my throne; he shall be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.” Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so ordain. As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.” So the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and led him to Gihon. There the priest Zadok took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” And all the people went up following him, playing on pipes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth quaked at their noise.
Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, “Why is the city in an uproar?” While he was still speaking, Jonathan son of the priest Abiathar arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are a worthy man and surely you bring good news.” Jonathan answered Adonijah, “No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king; the king has sent with him the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and they had him ride on the king’s mule; the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan 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 heard. Solomon now sits on the royal throne. Moreover the king’s servants came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May God make the name of Solomon more famous than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne.’ The king bowed in worship on the bed and went on to pray thus, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who today has granted one of my offspring to sit on my throne and permitted me to witness it.’” Then all the guests of Adonijah got up trembling and went their own ways. Adonijah, fearing Solomon, got up and went to grasp the horns of the altar. Solomon was informed, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon; see, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’” So Solomon responded, “If he proves to be a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the ground; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” Then King Solomon sent to have him brought down from the altar. He came to do obeisance to King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, “Go home.”