The infamous start of David and Bathsheba’s relationship is well known, and you’ll recall earlier in this series I shared the twist that David’s closest advisor, Ahithophel, was Bathsheba’s grandfather, and became co-conspirator against David with Absalom. Yet from this dysfunctional family came Solomon, and together with his father’s reign, comprised the ‘Golden Age’ of Israel, from 1010 BC to 931BC – a long time ago. Today, another love story with a twist involving this family.
Why David and Solomon were unique
David was unique in that he walked in several New Testament realities while still deep in the Old Testament. He did things that so violated the guidelines of the day that others would never have thought of doing. Yet God honored him.
For instance, in I Samuel 21:1-6 David was very hungry and demanded to eat the ‘Shewbread’, which is bread put in the Holy Place reserved for the Priests, representing man living by every Word God speaks to him. Inside the veil was also a Menorah which represented the Holy Spirit and His manifestations/gifts, and the altar of incense which represents prayers coming before God. Yet David ate the holy bread – you and I could eat it for Christ is in us, but no so back then.
The biggest New Testament truth he walked in is recorded in II Samuel 6:12-19. David brought the Ark of the Covenant into the city and quite simply ‘pitched a tent’ and put it in it. That’s right, he did not follow the guidelines given to Moses from the Father – no altar of sin offerings representing the cross, no laver for the priests to then wash with representing the washing of the Word. No first veil behind which should have been the shewbread, menorah, and incense. No inner veil hiding the Ark of the Covenant. None of that. He simply put the Ark of the Covenant in wide open view to everyone, covered by a tent and David danced and worshipped before the Lord.
You and I could walk up to or even handle the Ark of the Covenant because Christ lives in us – but not so back then – yet He walked in NT truth by just pitching a tent and walking right up to the Ark and danced before the Lord. Wow. One reason David walked in NT truth is because he actually knew the Lord – Christ. David wrote in Psalm 110:1: “The Lord (Father) said to my Lord (Christ), Be seated at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool…” In II Samuel 23:2-3 David acknowledged “…the Lord spoke by me; His Word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me…”
And in Acts 2:24-31 Peter tells us David “…saw the Lord before my face; at my right hand that I shall not be moved” and when writing Psalm 16 saying of Christ: “…and you won’t leave my soul in hell, nor allow your Holy One to see corruption”, he did so Peter said: “He seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that (the Father) would not leave Him in hell nor allow His body to see corruption.” David saw by the Spirit the resurrection of his Lord more than 1000 years before it happened!
Solomon also saw the Lord
In I Kings 3: 1-15/II Chronicles 1:7-12 the Lord (Christ) appeared to Solomon in a dream during which He asked Solomon what he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom and understanding, and the Lord gave it to him. Solomon saw the Lord a second time as well, in II Kings 9:2-9/II Chronicles 7:12-22. The second visitation from the Lord included a warning to him to walk with the Lord, and includes the often quoted verse; “If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray…”
Sadly, I Kings 11:6-9 tells us: “Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord as did David his father. And the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.” Because the Lord had appeared to him 2x more was expected of Solomon.
As we read Solomon’s Proverbs, chapters 1-9, we find many instructions starting with ‘My son listen to my words’. When reading these instructions the reader assumes Solomon is talking to his readers, or maybe to his own son, and while those things could be true, the deeper meaning is revealed in chapter 4 when Solomon switches to the first person, speaking of himself starting in v3: “Listen to the instruction of a father…for I was my father’s son (David’s son), tender and beloved in the sight of my mother (Bathsheba). He (David) taught me and said to me, Let you heart retain my words, keep my commandments and live; Get wisdom. Get understanding…wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom, and with all your getting, get understanding.”
Is it any wonder when the Lord first appeared to Solomon that he asked for wisdom? It was his father, King David, who drilled that into Solomon, and so when the Lord appeared to him, he knew what to ask for. When we read the rest of Proverbs 4 through 9 we must realize Solomon is still quoting his father, which started in 4:4. Thus, when we read in 4:10, 20, 5:1, 6:1, 20, 7:1 all the way through chapter 9 ‘my son’ we must understand he is still quoting David, and we are reading the one time private words of David (and Bathsheba) to their son…wow! Solomon quotes his father through chapter 9, and he quotes he Person of Wisdom Himself in chapter 8.
Again, 4:3-4 starts with Solomon quoting his father telling him to get wisdom saying, ‘He said to me…’ and the whole of Proverbs through chapter 9 is quoting David. It isn’t until chapter 10:1 that Solomon ends the quoting of his father and starts his own words, saying “The Proverbs of Solomon, a wise son makes a glad father…” The twist is the father’s love for his son, to invest time and energy and the pouring of his heart, and his mother’s heart, into their son, Solomon.
I encourage you to read Proverbs 1 through 9 in an easy to read translation, and realize you are reading things David and Bathsheba said in private to their son, now quoted as part of the Proverbs of Solomon. That he would later fall away from the Lord for a time does not diminish what they poured into him, and is a great testimony for every parent and grandparent who puts the Word into their children, only to suffer heartbreak to see their beloved fall away from the closeness with the Lord they once had.
We take comfort in their eventual return to Him, for though Solomon’s writings called Ecclesiastes seems full of despair for all is ‘vanity’, we realize he came back to the Lord after experiencing the world, for he says at the end of Ecclesiastes 12:13-14: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, for God will bring everything we do into the light for judgement, every secret thing good or evil.”
Solomon may never have gotten back to where he once was with the Lord, but he did get back…take courage in that for your own prodigal. New subject next week, until then, blessings,