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King David was growing older and his days were mostly spent in bed… shivering… His older bones were just not able to keep warm (That sometimes happens as you grow older, and they didn’t have heaters they could just turn on back then). So those in David’s royal service chose a young lady named Abishag for a very special job. Her job was to be the king’s bed warmer. Yes, it’s true! She would lay in bed near the king all day long just to keep him warm.
Do you think that sounds like a challenging job? Under some circumstances, I think it could have been a little challenging to be a young person full of energy, and have to lay in bed all day with an elderly person. Except that this wasn’t just any older person, this was God’s anointed King, someone with a heart connected and one with God, someone who glowed and shined with God’s blessing, someone who would be remembered for thousands of years as a man after God’s own heart, who God promised would be the great great great great granddaddy of the Messiah — Jesus — and His Kingdom. So, I don’t know if Abishag saw all that, but I hope she saw it as an honor and privilege to serve God by serving King David.
Now, I’ve already said more about Abishag than the Bible says about her. But I want you to learn to think about these people when you read about them. They were real people — just like you — with dreams, and feelings and decisions to make about their attitudes and who they were going to be.
By this time David had many sons. And one of his sons named Adonijah had an idea. He said, “I will be king now.” (Can you believe it? He picked himself to be the next king after David. Evidently they had not yet learned their lesson. Remember how we told you that while that may be the way some nations in the world would pick their leaders, that is not the way God picks the leaders for His nation.)
Adonijah gathered together the people who would agree with him and got them to start treating him like he was the next king. They even threw a big party to celebrate him being the king. But, he didn’t tell his dad King David, or Nathan God’s Heaven-Seeing prophet, or Solomon the son God had picked to be the next king. He pretty much didn’t tell anyone who knew God, because he knew they wouldn’t agree to this idea of him being the next king. Yuck.
But King David did find out about it. And when he did… WHOOOO-WEEEE! You better believe he wasn’t too old to get that righteous-burning-anger about this self-picking Adonijah.
David thought, “Seriously? I’m not dead yet. I’m going to settle this. Where’s Solomon?”
David said, “I told you guys that Solomon would be the next king. Go get Solomon and put him on my mule. Take him for a ride so that the people will see him on it.
“Then have the priest and Nathan pour oil on Solomon’s head and anoint him as king. And that’s not all. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Then bring Solomon here to the palace and sit him on my throne so that he can reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over all of God’s nation.”
Sure enough. That’s exactly what happened. Oil was poured on Solomon’s head, and he was anointed king. The trumpet blew and the people celebrated and shouted “Long live King Solomon, the new king.”
Now Adonijah and all those with him were still together, celebrating that Adonijah had made himself king. But when they heard the trumpet and all the shouting in the city, they thought, “What is going on? What’s all that celebrating? Something good must be happening!”
But just then someone came and told them, “Nothing good for you is happening. Your father just made Solomon the next king. That’s what all the people are celebrating. Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. The royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David. And the king bowed in worship right there on his bed and said, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see the next king on my throne.’”
Do you know what Adonijah and the people with him at his party did next? They ran for their lives. They knew they were in big trouble with God, and with Solomon, the new king.
And that is how Abishag and Solomon got their new jobs in God’s household. Very different jobs, huh? The bed warmer and the new king. But both were in service to God and His Kingdom. So whatever job you get in God’s Family, do it with a happy, humble heart.