1 Kings 1:2-4
2. Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman, a virgin, be sought for our lord the king, and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him; and let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm.”
3. So they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
4. The young woman was very lovely; and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king did not know her. (NKJV)
King David was about 70 years old at that time. He felt cold. They put many covers over him. But there was no relief. Picture a David shivering, trembling & unable to care for himself.
So, his servants suggested that a young virgin be appointed to look after him. This woman was to care for David the way a wife would – “…lying in his bosom…” and keeping him warm. In other words, she was to be like another concubine to him. And Abishag the Shunammite was chosen to be the one to serve David (v3). Why was there a need for this? Didn’t David already have other wives who ought to be doing that for him?
It appeared that there may have been some conspiracy quietly initiated by Adonijah through this initiative. Adonijah was David’s son through Haggith (2 Sam 3:4). Adonijah was eyeing the throne of David. In 1 Kings 1:5, we see him exalting and pronouncing himself to be king. And when Solomon ascended to the throne after David’s death, Adonijah requested to take Abishag the Shunammite as wife. If Adonijah had David’s concubine (Abishag) as his wife, he could be indirectly perceived as being the king. Through the wisdom of Solomon, he sensed that this was Adonijah’s way of attempting to usurp the throne.
This sinful world is full of dangerous people who may not have any good intention for us. Jesus warned us to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves. Unless the protective hand of God is upon us, we would fall prey to evil schemes, sometimes without even realising it – just like David in this situation. In such matters, we must not be wise in our own eyes or think too highly of ourselves. The moment we say “Oh, I won’t be tricked” or “I am smarter than you think” – that would be the beginning of our downfall. In the world of espionage – the real heroes are those whose identities are never known. We may never even realise that we have been tricked till it is too late.
Questions for meditation:
1) Have I been tricked because I was too rash in making a decision?
2) Have I wrongly perceived that I am in control of a situation when I wasn’t?
3) Have I fallen prey to challenges from friends, eg. Consumption of alcohol, smoking, eating harmful substances, etc. to prove my bravery & fitness? What is the best way to handle such situations?
What you can pray for:
1) that we may be wise in our conduct and bear a good witness wherever God has placed us.