Today we see the handing of the torch from David to his son Solomon. David gives advise to his son in regards to the people who were to surround him. Although it seems as though David is exacting vengeance for personal grudges; I believe that this is not the case. The men that David warned his son about would be those who would try and usurp his throne. These men had shown kindness to the kings face, but behind his back they were treacherous and evil. When Solomon heeds the voice of his father, what he does, as it says in the last verse of the chapter, is establish his throne. The men who would have come to take it had been removed; thus, the line of the Messiah was preserved.
It may seem odd that Solomon did not demand the death of his brother Adonijah at the very moment that he took the throne. King David also did not mention him in the list of those to be “handled” after his death. I believe that David, much as he did with Absalom, could not bring himself to harm his own son. Solomon, obviously, would have left him in peace; but Adonijah asked for Abishag to be his wife. It may seem strange that this request would cause such anger and wrath from the new king; but if we look a little deeper it will make more sense.
Abishag was the young woman that David’s servants found to keep David warm during his last days. Extra biblical history states that they, at that time, believed that the youth of someone who consistently touched another would some how transfer over to the aged one. Solomon most likely viewed this marriage request as an underhanded way for Adonijah to try and take the throne. Even if not, it would have been much harder to punish his brother if Solomon had to cause grief to come upon Abishag. She had to have gained a personal relationship to the king and by proxy also with Solomon.
I think the lesson that we can learn today is that it does not end well when people trifle with God’s anointed. I have seen and heard many stories of people losing their children, becoming seriously ill or even dying themselves after causing harm to a pastor who was doing Kingdom work. As the scripture says “If God be for us; who can stand against us? Although their demise was not immediate, it did come. When it arrived it was severe.