August 11, 2015
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 11 August 2015
The initial question of the book of 1 Kings concerns “who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him” (1:20). The answer is provided in chapters 1—2. King David’s son, Solomon, would sit upon the throne of his father (2:12, 24, 46). The decision was not the result of political maneuvering; rather, it was the outcome of God’s will (cf. 1:48; 2:15, 24). Nevertheless, the succession of Solomon to the throne would not occur without conscious thought because significant locales of the kingdom desired a king other than God’s choice. By the end of 1 Kings 2, all those threats against the kingdom were removed, and “the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon” (2:46).
The greatest threat against Solomon’s kingdom, however, still remained: the heart of the king. Solomon’s greatest enemy to his reign was himself. The Lord was unequivocal that Solomon’s greatest need was to “keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies” (2:3). Either divine blessing or judgment would be determined by whether a king would “keep the charge of the LORD.”
The classic American comic strip, Pogo, made the following words famous: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The assertion was most notable as an appropriate summary towards the foibles of humanity and the nature of the human condition. As one reads the end of 1 Kings 2, it would appear that Solomon’s rule is well established, yet it will only be assured by the condition of his heart. The primary battle of life is being certain that one maintains a heart of faithfulness to the Lord God, as evident in a lifestyle of obedience.
King David’s concluding words to Solomon his son asserted truly that strength is not derived from administrative and military dealings, without moral and spiritual vitality. A good leader is not exempted from God’s law; rather, he or she is bound to heed it. True and enduring vigor is founded within a person’s relation to God and his Word.
There is always danger in choosing a leader based upon the wrong criteria, which would be charisma and charm, and this folly was evident in the people’s approval of Adonijah’s political maneuvering (cf. 1:5-27). Furthermore, there is the hazard associated with leadership that is enfeebled or preoccupied because such leaders become irrelevant to present circumstances, which thrusts their followers into divergence and insecurity. While there is a need for leaders to affirm their responsibility, as Solomon did when he ascended the throne, there is danger in thinking the ends justify the means. The actions of Solomon demonstrate the negative aspect of leaders who strive to achieve the right thing in the wrong manner (cf. 4:1-28).
What constitutes godly leadership? Nathan the prophet is an example of holy activism. Knowing that God has a sovereign purpose does not mean that one waits passively for it to develop. God’s people are called to decisive actions that will advance his purposes. Nathan knew the will of God, and thus he acted with boldness, preparedness, and shrewdness. May each of us heed the wisdom of Proverbs 4:23,
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.
Missionary Pastor to Georgia's Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia