Have you ever stepped into a new leadership role only to be met with unexpected opposition? Just because someone gives you a job and a title does not mean you will be welcomed with open arms.
Immediately after the death of his father and his own appointment as king, Solomon faced similar management struggles. We have already seen that David struggled to deal decisively at times. He had failed to discipline his sons (1 Kings 1:6). He had sided with the rebel Absalom. He did not establish a clear plan of succession. Now David exhorts Solomon to prepare for battle. Instead of handling the matter himself, he left the problem for Solomon to settle.
Joab, David’s general, was a powerful man who had murdered two men in times of peace (v. 5). Shimei, an enemy of David, had cursed him when he ran from a coup (v. 8). A third man, Adonijah, was Solomon’s half-brother and principal rival for the throne (vv. 13–25). The new king was forced to take drastic action to deal with each of these situations. Joab and Adonijah were killed quickly. Shimei’s death would come three years later after he disobeyed the king (v. 46).
With his enemies defeated, Solomon regained control. The violence in these verses makes them difficult to read. Revenge was the order of the day. But we must remember that the stories of the Bible are not fairy tales. Battles were fought, men and women died. God had given Solomon the throne, but that did not mean he would be exempt from the challenges that came with possessing it.
>> Are there challenges you face at work or at home that are distasteful to you? Rather than seeing them as a burden, what if you viewed them as God’s appointed work? Ask God for His wisdom as you engage in these difficult situations, that He will help you act in obedience to Him.
In all matters, teach us to present our indecision to You. Help us discern attitudes, feelings, and perspectives not grounded in truth. Grant us wisdom in ambiguous situations to see what is right and true. Correct us when we are wrong.