1 Kings, chapters 3-6

“[…] In the 11th year, in the month of Bula (that is, the eighth month), the house was finished in all its details and according to its plan. So he spent seven years building it.”
~1 Kings 6:38

King Solomon’s extraordinary wisdom was a blessing from Jehovah (1 Ki. 3:11,12).

Yet, when the time came to carry out the colossal project of building the temple, Solomon did not rely on his own ideas or expertise.
Rather, he humbly put the plans his father David had drawn out for him into effect.

King David had received the plans by divine inspiration through a dream (1 Chron. 28:11,12).
So really, it was Jehovah who was the true architect, and Solomon recognized that.

By not taking creative liberties and altering God’s plan for his own temple, King Solomon set an example of humility and submission.
We, too, should be careful not to overstep instructions in our congregation duties.

1 Kings, chapters 1 and 2

“With that King Solomon swore by Jehovah: ‘So may God do to me and add to it if it was not at the cost of his own life that Adonijah made this request […]'”(1 Ki. 2:23)

Adonijah, who was apparently the eldest of King David’s remaining sons, had already tried to make himself king once (1 Ki. 1:5-10).

David, however, had promised the throne to his son, Solomon (1 Ki. 1:29,30).

Once crowned, Solomon gave this warning regarding Adonijah: “If he behaves in a worthy manner, not a single hair of his will fall to the ground; but if what is bad is found in him, he will have to die,” (1 Ki. 1:52).

Some time after David’s death, Adonijah approached Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, and complained, “You well know that the kingship was to become mine, and all Israel expected me to become king; but the kingship eluded me and became my brother’s, for it was from Jehovah that it became his. But now there is just one request that I am making of you. Do not turn me away,” (1 Ki. 2:15,16).

Adonijah then proceeded to manipulate Bathsheba into asking Solomon to allow him to marry David’s nurse (1 Ki. 2:17).

At this point in the story, I thought- Did Adonijah actually deserve to die just because he wanted to marry his late father’s nurse?

Upon further investigation, I learned that David’s nurse was actually viewed more as his concubine, even though he’d had no sexual relations with her (1 Ki. 1:1-4).

There was an ancient Middle Eastern custom that the wives and concubines of a king should only belong to his heir after his death (Insight on the Scriptures, vol. I: “Abishag,” par. 2; “Adonijah,” par. 4).

That is why King Solomon viewed Adonijah’s request as yet another attempt to usurp the throne which God had rightfully given him (1 Ki. 2:24,25).

In other words, it was a deceptive scheme masking high treason, and since it undermined King Solomon’s first warning and authority, it merited death.

2 Samuel, chapters 16-18

The watchman said: “I can see that the first man runs like Ahimaaz the son of Zadok,” so the king said: “He is a good man, and he comes with good news.”
~2 Samuel 18:27

The priest Ahimaaz out ran the Cushite messenger commissioned to tell King David that his enemy had fallen (2 Sam. 18:24-32).

This news was not what David wanted to hear, for his enemy was his own son, Absalom (2 Sam. 18:33).

Still, Ahimaaz was determined to deliver the message to David before the Cushite envoy (2 Sam. 18:23).

Ahimaaz’s delivery style emphasized the good news but tactfully left out the bad news, which was then delivered by the second messenger.

Thus David received the news of his son’s death in steps, instead of receiving all the information in one blow.

When Jehovah’s Witnesses approach doors, what are people’s reactions?

Are our neighbors happy to see us because they know we are ‘good people’ who come with “good news?”

Or do they roll their eyes and refuse to open their doors because they do not like our message?

As “ambassadors” of the good news of Christ’s kingdom, we should make a sincere effort to keep our message positive and deliver it in an enthusiastic tone (Eph. 6:19,20).

It helps to be tactful about what Bible passages we choose to share with our neighbors.

Like Ahimaaz, we should be eager to deliver the good news God has entrusted us with, even when we know our audience will dislike some aspects of it.

2 Samuel, chapters 13-15

Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and she ripped apart the fine robe she was wearing; and she kept her hands on her head and walked off, crying out as she walked.
~2 Samuel 13:19

Tamar, King David’s daughter, had just been raped by her half-brother, Amnon (2 Sam. 13:10-14).

In the above text, we can note how her initial reaction to draw attention to the gross act and violation of God’s law was spot on.

Tamar did not blame herself for the rape nor did she try to hide her half-brother’s actions, neither for her own sake nor for her family’s.

However, neither her aggression nor her distress were formally processed.

Absalom, Tamar’s full brother, met her and instead of helping her make a formal accusation, he asked her to keep quiet (2 Sam. 13:20).

Israelite law provided for a formal trial in such cases (Lev. 20:17; De. 19:15).
In this case, though, King David worried more about not hurting the feelings of his son Amnon than seeking justice for his daughter (2 Sam. 13:21).
Absalom did seek justice, but through his own means, and he ended up murdering Amnon (2 Sam.13:22,28,29).

What we learn from this passage is that when a person falls victim to rape, those of us who have the emotional and legal resources to help that person should pay attention to their cry of distress and do everything in our power to help them attain justice through a proper conduct.
We should never quiet a victim for the sake of anyone’s reputation, because “open reproof is better than concealed love,” (Dan. 2:22; Prov. 27:5).

2 Samuel, chapters 9-12

Uriah replied to David: “The Ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. So should I go into my own house to eat and drink and lie down with my wife? As surely as you live and are alive, I will not do this thing!”

~2 Samuel 11:11

Uriah was a Hittite, a descendant of Canaan (2 Sam. 23:39).

Canaanites were the pagan inhabitants of the Promised Land that the Israelites were supposed to have exterminated (De. 20:16-18).

Still, Uriah’s house was close to King David’s (2 Sam. 11:2,3).

He was classified as a “mighty warrior,” (1 Chron. 11:26,41).

These facts, along with his conduct, indicate that he was also a Proselyte- a pagan converted to true worship.

The most outstanding thing we know of him is the zeal he had for fulfilling God’s law.

He went into war with the rest of his army, minus their commander-in-chief, King David.

Where was their leader?

Sleeping with Uriah’s wife (2 Sam. 11:4).

(I am leaving out a few details because the story is widely known.)

When Uriah’s wife became pregnant with David’s child, King David asked Uriah to come back home with the intention of making it appear as if the child were his (2 Sam. 11:5-10).

Uriah respected God’s law and considered his war mission to be holy.

To sleep with his wife while the rest of his army was in battle was unthinkable.

Furthermore, that would have prevented him from immediately joining them, because having a semen emission under God’s law made him “unclean,” (De. 23:9-11).

King David’s plan failed, and he sentenced Uriah to be killed in battle, sending the letter by Uriah’s own hand (2 Sam. 11:12-15).

Uriah had such a level of zeal for God’s law that it cost him his life, but the important thing is that he died faithful (2 Sam. 11:24).

David did not have to die for his own sin, but his son died as a consequence of it, and David did not know another day’s peace for the rest of his life (2 Sam. 12:9-14).

Uriah’s story leaves us with a thirst for justice that is not fully quenched and it helps us see that in this world, sometimes it does not matter how good or innocent we are, we are still subject to injustices.

There may at times be brothers in the congregation in important roles with many privileges who step all over one of the sheep they are supposed to care for (Acts 20:29).

The important thing for us sheep is to not judge or leave the congregation, but to continue serving God faithfully and leave justice in his hands (Rom. 12:19).

2 Samuel, chapters 4-8

And now, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, you are the true God, and your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
~2 Samuel 7:28

King David had asked for the prophet, Nathan’s, blessing in constructing a temple (2 Sam. 7:2,3).

When Jehovah told David through Nathan that it wouldn’t be him, but his son, who would undertake and accomplish that great task, David opted to see the glass half full (2 Sam. 7:12,13,18,19).

He fully trusted God’s promises 100% (2 Sam. 7:21,27).

He knew that, even after his own death, his kingdom would persist because God had spoken it (2 Sam. 7:16).

We, too, need to keep a positive attitude when we fail to accomplish personal goals.

If we cannot serve God in the way we had envisioned ourselves doing so due to health, financial or family circumstances, or even due to personal shortcomings, we can still demonstrate our faith that Jehovah will bless us and our families in the future.

Like David, we can also pray:
“So may it please you to bless the house of your servant, and may it continue forever before you; for you, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, have promised, and with your blessing may the house of your servant be blessed forever,” (2 Sam. 7:29).

2 Samuel, chapters 1-3

Then David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, saying: “Give me my wife Michal […] So Ishbosheth sent to take her from her husband, Paltiel the son of Laish. But her husband kept walking with her, weeping as he followed her as far as Bahurim. Then Abʹner said to him: “Go, return!” At that he returned.
~2 Samuel 3:14-16

Never mind that David already had sons from six different women at the time of this event (2 Sam 3:2-5).
After several years of being on the run, David wanted his first wife back- the original one- the princess for whom he risked his life in battle for (1 Sam. 18:27).

It is touching that Michal’s new husband, Paltiel, followed her and wept at her departure.
I find it noteworthy that God’s word should include this emotive detail amidst so many stories of conquest and bloodshed.

The princess Michal was moved from one man to another as if she were an asset, and it did not matter if she originally had been very much in love with David or if Paltiel was now in love with her (1 Sam. 18:20).

What we learn here is that marriage is marriage and David had the legal right over Michal because he married her first.
It was his decision not to divorce her despite the distance between them.

Although modern marriages also undergo certain psychological trauma, we live in a mostly monogamous society in which fidelity is expected both ways and infidelity is conducive to the dissolution of the marriage (Matt. 19:9).

While it is easy for us as readers to follow David’s train of thought, we should also observe that God took note of Paltiel’s reaction.
Jehovah is not a cold-hearted God nor is he indifferent to the feelings of those who are not even serving him.