My Lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my Lord the king after him. (1 Kings 1:20 NIV)
The book of Kings continues the saga of the life of the nation of Israel from 2 Samuel. The main character in that book – David – is the key continuity character bridging both books.
He has reached the final days of his reign, but his inability to discipline his sons as was evident in Amnon and Absalom has come to the forefront again with his son Adonijah. On the one hand as the guy next in line after Absalom, Adonijah might have felt justified to feel the time was ripe to stake his claim to the throne. On the other hand, he made some serious errors of judgment.
First was to make a bid for the throne without his father’s permission and prior knowledge. It is not clever looking to be King when there’s already a king on the throne. Second he deliberately excluded some key personnel from his presumptuous crowning party – the critical guy he snubbed was Nathan. Of all the people to ignore, the man who knew what God had to say on the issue of succession was a major blunder. This proved to be the case when Nathan became aware of the plot.
The speed with which Nathan managed the situation is remarkable. While Adonijah was having his party, Nathan got Solomon’s Mum, Bathsheba, to get to David. While she made her plea to David, Nathan followed it in a brilliant pincer movement. David recognised what he needed to do and seeing the key role he had to play, he swiftly set up Solomon to rightly taketake his place on the throne of father with the consent of David.
The scene where Adonijah is partying away when the noise of Solomon’s anointing reaches him is slightly humorous. Completely oblivious to what was going on, Adonijah greeted Jonathan the priest’s son, as though it was good news. You can imagine the blood draining from his face when he heard the news Jonathan had to give on what was going on.
It goes to show the truth and wisdom in the saying that if you exalt yourself you will soon be humbled – maybe even humiliated. It pays to stay humble so that in God’s time, in God’s way, He can exalt you. It’s a sound word to bear in mind when so many look to vaunted their outer beauty, intellect or position as reason to exalt self.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden