It came as a shock when I read in 1:7 that David had lost Joab’s loyalty. He’s not a character of whom I’d ever really been aware before, but reading 2 Samuel over the last few days he’s always been there in the background, more zealous to protect David’s throne than David is himself – and certainly far more ruthless about how he does it. A lot of this passage feels a bit like part of the ‘Godfather’ saga, with a trusted Capo switching sides and then with the fallout afterwards, introduced here by the repeated sending off Benaiah son of Jehoiada to make an offer they can’t refuse to the senior enemies of King Solomon.
But in the middle of all this, Solomon asks one thing from God. Wisdom. Knowing that ruling the nation will require constant judgement and discernment, Solomon asks for God’s help to get it right. His prayer is answered more fully than he expects. Not only does the LORD give him the blessings he chose not to ask for, his wisdom covers natural history, justice, poetry and Proverbs, so that people come from far and wide to seek his advice.
Let’s pray that the LORD grants to us – and to our leaders – the one gift of true wisdom.