1 Kings 2:1-11: David’s Final Advice To Solomon
Archibald Alexander in his classic, Thoughts on Religious Experience, gives this advice to the elderly who are approaching their deaths: ‘Let not the infirm and the aged say that they can now do nothing for God. They can do much; and for ought they can tell, more than they ever did in the days of their vigour. It is a beautiful sight to see men [and women] laden with fruit, even in old age. Such fruits are generally more mature than those of earlier days; and the aged saint often enjoys a tranquillity and repose of spirit, which is almost peculiar to that age. David, or whoever is the author of the 71stPsalm, prays more earnestly a prayer which should be daily on the lips of the aged: ‘Cast me not off in the time of my old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.’ And again, ‘Now also when I am old and grey-headed, forsake me not, until I have showed thy strength to this generation, and thy power to all that are to come.’ Let the aged then tell to those that come after them, the works of divine grace which they have witnessed or which their fathers have told them. Let them be active as long as they can, and when bodily strength fails, let them wield the pen; or if unable to write for the edification of the church, let them exhibit [a] shining example of the Christian temper, in kindness and good will to all; in uncomplaining patience; in contented poverty; in cheerful submission to painful providences; and in mute resignation to the loss of their dearest friends. And when death comes, let them not be afraid or dismayed; then will be the time to honour God by implicitly and confidently trusting in His promises. Let them ‘against hope believe in hope.’ It is by faith that the last enemy must be conquered. He that believeth will not be confounded, in this trying hour. The great Shepherd will not forsake His redeemed flock, for whom He has shed His blood; and though the adversary may rage and violently assault dying saints, he shall not overcome them. Each one of them may say with humble confidence: ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and they staff they comfort me.’
David applies this advice given above. He dies in faith expressing his worship for God’s grace, He dies trusting in the promises of God, and he seeks in this second recorded statement from his death bed to give advice to his son. These last words of David will have the force of all of his life behind them. What would your last instructions be to your children when you come to die? David gives advice to the new king, he speaks as a believer, a father and a former king. He gives advice about faith to a son and about the kingdom to a new king. We will divide David’s last words to Solomon into two parts; Advice concerning manhood and Advice concerning the kingdom.