- 1 Kings 1:1-2:35
- 1 Kings 2:36-46
- 1 Chronicles 21:1-30
Adonijah. As David lay dying, his son Adonijah paraded himself through the kingdom, declaring himself to be king. Adonijah claimed for himself that which was not given to him. He wanted the kingship, so he called himself king. Knowing his father was not one for correcting his sons, Adonijah attempted to steal the crown, expecting his father would do nothing.
But the close counselors of David would have nothing of Adonijah’s antics. Beginning with Bathsheeba, the parade in David’s bedroom was small, but mighty in reminding the king of who his real successor was to be. While Adonijah called himself king in the streets, God proclaimed Solomon king in the inner room.
And Solomon was king. Adonijah exalted himself publicly and was publicly humiliated. And Adonijah feared what Solomon would do.
Aren’t we like that? Don’t we proclaim for ourselves the things we so desperately desire? And doesn’t it seem that the louder we proclaim it, if it wasn’t ours to have, the louder the rejection feels? Adonijah is an ancient-day us. He would have been wise to turn from his self-adulation here. So would we. But Adonijah’s story continues.
Fearing Solomon, Adonijah demanded that Solomon not harm him. Solomon promised nothing of the sort. Instead, Solomon lay the responsibility for Adonijah’s future in Adonijah’s own hands. If Adonijah proved himself worthy, he would live. This move of Adonijah’s could be read as a realization of his wrong-doing, or it could be read as yet another manipulation. Solomon essentially said, “Time will tell.”
And time, indeed, did tell. Adonijah was not done with his efforts to be king. Planning, plotting, and scheming as to how the kingdom would be his, Adonijah went not to Solomon, but to one of Solomon’s trusted family members: Bathsheeba. The request, on the surface, seemed safe enough: Adonijah just wanted a wife, a particular wife. Time did indeed tell what lay in Adonijah’s heart: in requesting the wife he did, he was again trying to steal the kingdom. Solomon saw the move, and declared the punishment based on his prior statement: If Adonijah proved himself worthy, he would not be harmed. Given the chance to change his ways, Adonijah chose instead to continue coveting the kingdom. And it led to his death.
Desiring something God has not given you to have creates an insidious focus, blinding you to the opportunities for repentance. Blinded long enough, you can miss entirely the hand of God calling you to His righteousness. Take off the blinders before death is the only option. prove yourself worthy by humbling yourself to only that to which God has called you. Let everything else go, for it will only be the death of you.