Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Year: 1 Kings 5-6 for Apr 8

In 5:5 Solomon repeats things from the Davidic covenant given by the prophet Nathan to David in 2 Sam 7.

Solomon doesn't re-iterate 2 Sam 7:13, however. David had understood in 2 Sam 7 that there are portions that applied to the covenant, "that it may continue forever before You" (1 Sam 7:29). In fact, the whole prayer of David in 2 Sam 7:18-29 is a great example of what you can do, when the Lord has NOT just given you a to-do list, but what you can do and say to Him about what He has promised to do Himself (cf. 2 Sam 7:27-29).

Look, however, at some intervening events. In 2 Kings 2, David, as his "time to die drew near" (2:1), says things that have another reference and emphasis, telling Solomon that the Lord had said 'if your sons are careful of their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel'" (2:4).

This is quite a different emphasis than what is said in the language of the covenant, is it not? Is it not different in its emphasis than 2 Sam 7:14-16? "'I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; you throne shall be established forever.'" It is different, but it is complementary, not contradictory.

There is a time in which God appears to Solomon himself, after this, in a dream, in 1 Kings 3:5ff. Here, this is what God says to Solomon ... compare it to what David had said in 1 Kings 2:4, because it is quite different, and also complementary, not contradictory: "If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days" (3:14). And that was the final word from God to Solomon in the dream: "Then Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream!" (3:15).

Solomon, enlightened by 3:14, goes forward with his task at hand, the building of the temple. What happens if we peek ahead to later, especially 1 Kings 9:1ff, since there, the text is making a backward reference to 3:5, and see how God elaborates on the implications of the Davidic covenant He made in 2 Sam 7?

There are further events, together with God's explanations of them, coming. Compare especially 1 Kings 11:9-13.

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