Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Kings 1:1-4 (NIV)
When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.” Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.
1 Kings 1:1-4 (MSG)
King David grew old. The years had caught up with him. Even though they piled blankets on him, he couldn’t keep warm. So his servants said to him, “We’re going to get a young virgin for our master the king to be at his side and look after him; she’ll get in bed with you and arouse our master the king.” So they searched the country of Israel for the most ravishing girl they could find; they found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king. The girl was stunningly beautiful; she stayed at his side and looked after the king, but the king did not have sex with her.
“Now King David was old, advanced in years; they covered him with clothes, but he could not get warm. So his servants said to him, “Let a young virgin be found for my lord the king and let her attend him and become his nurse; let her lie against your chest, so that my lord the king may feel warm.” So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful; and she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king was not intimate with her.” -AMPLIFIED
Have you ever wondered why certain passages of Scripture were included in the Bible? For me, this would be one such passage. I have wondered what the relevance for the reader is by including Abishaq in David’s story. What were we intended to learn. I needed to do some research to find the answers that I was looking for.
We have ended 2 Samuel and are now transitioning into 1 Kings. The opening verses of 1 Kings give us a very good picture of David in his golden years. He is definitely shown to be having a senior moment. Even though David was probably only about 69 or 70 years old (He died at the age of 70.) he had lived a very hard life. He had spent much of his life in battle, running from Saul, and living in caves and the wilderness. Of course his body was tired and fatigued.
“King David was now an old man with an epic lifetime behind him. Lying in his bed, he became chilled; so his servants tried to warm him with blankets. It did no good—the years were catching up with this great king.” -(VOICE)
One of the side effects of the hard life that he had lived was the fact that he could not keep warm. (We all know a few people with that issue.) At first the remedy to his constant state of chill was to cover him with more blankets, but the time came when even that did not help. That was when it was decided to find a young woman, a virgin, to take care of David, look after his needs and keep him warm when he was cold.
Now mind you, there was no physical relationship between these two. This was solely a nursing job, but it was one serving a high level dignitary; the king. Abishaq’s job was to keep the king warm.
Solomon understood the wisdom in this arrangement. When he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes he penned these words, “Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night.” -Ecclesiastes 4:11 (MSG)
What can we learn about Abishaq? She was a beautiful young woman. In fact, it is implied that she was stunning to look upon. Not only was she gorgeous though, she was useful too. Abishaq had a servant’s heart. She was willing to serve the king and look after his needs.
Now, consider what that would involve at this point of time in his life. David was bedridden. There was very little that he could do for himself. So, Abishaq was basically taking care of a geriatric patient. That meant that she had to take care of his bathroom needs, bathe him, probably feed him, dress him and do anything else that he needed. This was not an easy job. Yet, Abishaq was faithful in doing her job; she ministered to David and his needs.
Abishaq will work into His-story (God’s story) again. So let us remember her faithfulness to her king. With a good attitude she did what needed to be done for her aged beloved king.
David knew God’s faithfulness. This is why he could write these words that should be a reminder to us all of the faithfulness of our God; even in our old age. “I once was young, now I’m a graybeard—not once have I seen an abandoned believer, or his kids out roaming the streets. Every day he’s out giving and lending, his children making him proud.” -Psalm 37:25-26 (MSG)
Age to age our God remains the same and He is always Faithful!
Father, aging is a part of life. For some it is easier than it is for others, but you have called us all to go through it. I pray that even in those senior moments I may have a good attitude. When my body refuses to do what I want it to do, when the aches and pains seem to be more than I can bear; remind me that you are with me. At those times when others offer to be a helping hand, a servant, help me to graciously accept the help I need. Help me, Lord, to age with your grace. Thank you for always being faithful to me. ❤