Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace. “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom. “And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from BahuriFim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord : ‘I will not put you to death by the sword.’ But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood.” Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. He had reigned forty years over Israel—seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established – 1 Kings 2:5-12.
Well we have arrived in the book of 1 Kings. David is still alive despite the “last words” shared in the end of the book of 2 Samuel. I do believe that this is David’s final crossing over. David is speaking to his son Solomon, who he has chosen to be his successor, with the help of some encouragement from Solomon’s mother Bathsheba.
The reference to water is a fleeting one where David describes meeting Shimei at the Jordan River when Shimei was offering his Mea Culpa for joining with Abasalom and his armies to fight David. This description is embeded within a long line of directives that David is providing to Solomon before he dies — sort of a kingly “to do” list.
Solomon’s “to do” list sounds more like something out of the “sopranos”. David is for killing Joab who was a military leader under David, and Shimei who David had vowed not to harm (at least while he was alive). Apparently David feels like when he is gone Solomon can use his wisdom to deal with these men as he sees fit, but David wants to “send their gray heads down to the grave in blood”.
I guess much of this retribution is intended to firmly establish Solomon’s rule so that no one doubts that he is rightful king. It is interesting that God is not mentioned at all in this passage about the final crossing over. David is merely said to join his ancestors in the city of David. There is no mention or sense that David is going to join God.
I hope when it comes time for my final crossing over that I will have other things on my mind than myself or my heirs. I know that this is hard and as one gets older it is tempting to become more self focused and absorbed. My hope and prayer is that my final pouring out will be anticlimactic because there is nothing left to pour out.
Prayer: God help me to live each day with the intention to pour part of myself out for You and for others so that when my time comes I am all poured out.