Protocols are important. According to the Macquarie Dictionary protocol means the customs and regulations dealing with the ceremonies and etiquette of the diplomatic corps and others at a court or capital. We have widened the meaning to apply to a host of actions or steps that are required to be taken for certain tasks to be done. I guess in my kind I simply summarise protocol with these words – first things first! In our Bible reading today from 1 Kings 2:1-11 King David calls his heir apparent to his side. King David was nearing his death and it was time for him to provide the future king of Israel with counsel. These are the last words of one king to a future king. It is interesting to contemplate what our last words would be to those who are close to us.
King David’s last words of counsel are very special. There is no ‘rocket science’ here. No, David shares with Solomon what has been shared with other new leaders down through history. David’s first words are reminiscent of the Lord’s words to Joshua when he took over the leadership of the nation from Moses. The counsel is forthright, direct and to the point. The kingdom must be secured and established and broadened. King David’s last words to Solomon provide the strategy to ensure that this would become a reality for the kingdom.
His counsel was twofold. Firstly in verses 3-4, Solomon was charged to obey the covenant law. Secondly in the remaining verses of chapter 2, Solomon was encouraged to eliminate the enemies of the kingdom who had a different agenda to the way in which God desired the kingdom to be ruled. There are some great lessons for us to learn from this section of God’s word, and in particular to the importance of observing, walking and keeping God’s laws. There are some great blessings that flow from doing this as we will discover and can best be summarised as contentment and stability in life! I hope and pray that the Lord will speak to you through this passage of scripture today.