Daily Thought for: 16th May

ADONIJAH

1 Kings 1 – 2. 1-25

Adonijah, the fourth of David’s sons, was born in Hebron when his father was king of Judah; his mother was Haggith. Adonijah’s life was mainly taken up with a vain attempt to secure his father’s throne. His brothers Amnon and Absalom had been killed. He had one other older brother, Chileab. Scripture only records Chileab’s birth (2 Sam. 3. 3 and 1 Chron. 3. 1 where he is called Daniel). We must assume that he, too, had died. Adonijah saw himself as heir to his father’s throne by right of primogeniture. 

David indulged Adonijah, 1 Kgs. 1. 6, who took advantage of this, together with his father’s illness, to further his claim to the throne even though his father had declared publicly that Solomon should succeed him. David’s increasing weakness, 1 Kgs. 1. 1, 15, caused Adonijah to think that Solomon’s claim would no longer be supported. When eminent members of David’s court like Joab, one of his captains, and Abiathar, the high priest, supported him, Adonijah was encouraged to proclaim himself king at Enrogel, 1 Kgs. 1. 9. 

He reckoned, however, without Bathsheba (Solomon’s mother) and Nathan the prophet. Despite David’s illness they entered his bedchamber and informed him of what Adonijah had done. David was roused to confirm Solomon as his successor and set in motion arrangements for his coronation at Gihon. Adonijah weakly submitted to Solomon who spared his life on condition that he did not challenge his position as king, 1 Kgs. 1. 49-50. His subsequent request to marry Abishag (former wife of David) was seen as breaking this condition and Adonijah was executed, 1 Kgs. 1. 23-25. 

The careful record of  life with all its weakness and failure is written in Scripture and before the Lord. It is a solemn thought that records of the lives of every person, including each believer, are also written before the Lord. We cannot escape appearance before the Judgement Seat of Christ where our service for Him will be tried by fire, Rom. 14. 10; 1 Cor. 3. 13. Adonijah was weak and feckless and his epitaph must be that he sought and coveted that which God had given to another. 

 

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