1 Kings 2:1-12
1 Kings 2:1-12
Ding dong the King is dead! In our final Lenten reading (congratulations if you made it all the way through by the way), we end up where we started… the kingdom of Israel in transition. David, who has shown himself to be many things during his reign, including a liar, an adulterer, a murderer… I’ll stop there, is giving his son Solomon his farewell address.
One imagines that after all David had been through during his 40 years on the throne the one piece of advice he would have for his son is, believe! Believe that you worship a God that knows you and calls you by name! Believe that you have a God that will walk beside you and protect you in times of trouble! Believe and God will hold fast to the covenant made with our ancestor Abraham. But instead, in a final moment of weakness it is a rundown of who on this earth Solomon can trust or not trust, who needs to live and who needs to die.
How different the farewell address of Jesus is that we heard on Good Friday; the last words of Jesus from John’s gospel saying “It is finished” (John 19:30). No warnings of who to trust or not trust, no promises of vengeance or death. Jesus knew the time had come and all now was finished and that is all that needed to be said. In our journey to the cross throughout this season of Lent we have come through some major highs and lows in the life of Jesus and the disciples, from sweet cries of “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” To horrific shouts of “Crucify him, crucify him!”
Through it all Jesus has asked one thing of his disciples and ultimately of us, believe! It’s the same thing God longed for from David, in the end we find that throughout the ages, belief is the stumbling block of faith that Paul talks about in his first letter to the Corinthians. I asked the question on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday of “what would this Easter be like for you if you actually believed these two things:”
#1 – What if you had complete and total faith in the fact that there really is a God who is present in your life and in this community and has promised to be there for us and with us?
#2 – What if you had unwavering, rock solid faith in the fact that there really is a God who hears your prayers, who listens to you and knows you by name?
My prayer this Holy Saturday is for Jesus to help my unbelief, just like David, just like Solomon and just like the father in Mark chapter 8 who says “I believe, help my unbelief.” Below is a prayer to help our unbelief given at the foot of the cross on Good Friday:
God of Abraham, who promised a great multitude,
God of Isaac, who stirs up the seas so its waves roar,
God of Jacob, who teaches us for our own good, who leads us in the way we should go.
God of Israel, who led you people out of slavery into a land of milk and honey…
You offered up your first born, the very thing you used to test Abraham,
The very thing you used to defeat Pharaoh and lift up your people,
You gave us everything you had to offer on a cross at Calgary.
Lord we believe,Help our unbelief,
God of Abraham help our unbelief,
God of Isaac help our unbelief,
God of Jacob, help our unbelief
God of Israel help our unbelief,
God our Father and Mother, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, help our unbelief