What does it say?
The Books of 1 and 2 Kings were written as one and cover many of the same material as Chronicles. Also like Chronicles, an unknown author wrote Kings during or around the time of the exile in Babylon.
David is an old man here (1Ki 1). His advisors think that a young sexual partner will revive him, but the Bible says that the king knew her not, a polite way to say that he did not have sex with her. Political intrigue over who would succeed David fills the court. Adonijah is the heir apparent with the backing of Joab and the military, but David already promised the throne to Solomon. Adonijah attempts to usurp the throne, but good counsel from David’s advisors and quick action avert the coup and Solomon is confirmed as the successor. David gives his charge to Solomon (1Ki 2). Once Solomon is on the throne, he deals wisely with three problem individuals left him by his father – Adonijah, Joab and Shimei all meet their death.
Psalm 37 is an acrostic psalm contrasting good and evil with two verses given to each Hebrew letter. David’s name appears as the author, and 37:25 indicates he wrote this in old age. Psalm 71 is another psalm of David written in his old age. Psalm 94 asks God to deliver them, but there is no indication of any specific historical occasion. Some traditions make David the author of this psalm, but no certain evidence exists.
What does it mean?
Why would Kings and Chronicles cover the same material? Why four Gospels to tell the life of Jesus and not just one definitive work? Westerners, especially, ask these questions often asked. Western thinking tends to be very linear and logical in a Greco-Roman way. The Bible is an oriental book and the thinking more spiral than linear, more experiential than logical. The biblical way is to present the same truth from different perspectives that one might grow in wisdom and understanding. This is bad news for black and white thinkers that can only conceive of one viewpoint, one correct answer and only one way to see anything.
What do you think are the common themes, if any, between these two psalms (37 and 71) that David wrote in his old age? What are the key lessons one can glean for those in or approaching old age?
How will I respond?
Regardless of my age, David’s psalms written in maturity provide good counsel for believers at any age. What is the most important lesson I learned from this reading and what will I do today in response?