Tag Archives: disrespect

1 Kings 1:5-6 – David did not rebuke Adonijah for being disrespectful

1 Kings 1:5-6

5. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king”; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

 6. (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, “Why have you done so?” He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.) (‭NKJV)

Adonijah exalted himself, saying “I will be king”. But his father, David did not rebuke him for doing this. Is it right that Adonijah exalt himself in such a manner? It should be noted that the office of a king is an anointed office – a position that is conferred by an “authority”. Samuel, the prophet was tasked by God to anoint David as king. It is not something that David conjured himself. In fact, David himself asked “Who am I and what is my family, that you (ie God) has blessed me this far.” There is humble acknowledgement that he did not deserve such an office of honor. Adonijah, on the other hand, sought the office because of selfish ambition. To do so when the current King (his own father) had not announced his successor was disrespectful and inappropriate.

Why did David not rebuke Adonijah for his actions? Was he not bothered by Adonijah’s actions? Or was he too frail to take any actions? He was certainly not too frail because he subsequently pronounced Solomon as King. It seemed that David did not have much influence over his sons the way Abraham had over his household. God said of Abraham in Gen 18:19 that he will instruct his household…. So in this aspect, David was more like Eli who did not rebuke his sons although they provoked the Lord with their sins in the tabernacle. Here is a warning to all fathers: the sons of both Eli & David died tragic deaths when they failed to instruct them. Here is a warning to children: when your fathers rebuke you, do you resist them or do you consider your ways and see if you have done wrong?

Perhaps it was because Adonijah was good looking and so he thought highly of himself. When we are well endowed, whether in physical attraction or with gifts, talents or riches, we will tend to feel we deserve more attention, more attainment and blessing. The Psamist says “it was good that I was afflicted, that I may know the statutes of God.” The Apostle Paul says “..When I am weak, then I am strong.. “. The Christian Faith is not founded on self exaltation. It is founded on “a broken spirit” that finds confidence only in God and no one else.

Questions for meditation:

1) How do I regard the admonition of my parents? Do I treat my parents with due respect that they are God’s appointed authority for me on earth?

2) Have I spent enough time with my children to instruct and teach them about God?

3) Have I been counting my blessings and giving thanks to God for them?

What you can pray for:

1) that God may open the spiritual eyes of our children and lead them into His kingdom.

2) That God may help us not be proud of our abilities but to acknowledge His hand of mercy in what He bestows to us

1 Kings 1:5 – Adonijah exalts himself…

1 Kings1:5 

Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king”; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

Adonijah is the son of David through Haggith. (It is unfortunate that having several wives was the practice of even Godly men, like David, in the old testament. But let it be clear that this is not condoned. God’s will is clear from creation – one man, one wife. Anything outside of this order always results in consequences.)

Adonijah was ambitious. Although he knew that God had intended for Solomon to be King (1 Kings 2:15), he still longed for the throne. So he “exalted” himself in an attempt to be King. He was hoping that things will turn in his favour. Jesus reminded us in Luk4 14:19 that “.. whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Indeed, Adonijah was humbled. He was eventually executed by Solomon because he continued to be shrewd even after Solomon ascended to the throne. Many people have a high measure of themselves. Perhaps they have achieved much in life. Or perhaps they think that they can achieve much. But the Apostle Paul appropriately sounded this reminder to us in Rom 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Let us humbly remember that should God withhold His grace from us this very moment, our bodies will fail & our existence wiped out. We owe everything we have to God’s mercies. Let us be awaken from our pride and think soberly.

Let us use the gifts that God has given to us to pursue what is within our means by His providence. Does it mean that ambition is a sin? It would be if it causes us to take our eyes from the Cross, especially if it results in self-glory & satisfaction in personal attainment. Godly ambition is summed up by Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even if a Godly man is endowed with extraordinary gifts, his Godly ambition will be constrained with a constant acknowledgement that his abilities are God-given and any attainment is because of God’s blessing.

A young man once remarked: “why doesn’t God bless me that way he blesses My brother?” We must not, at any time, pretend that we have all the answers. God alone knows the reasons and bestows what He deems best for His children. The bible tells us that God is sovereign. He decreed all that came to pass for His own glory. Many people have difficulties accepting this truth. The reality is that a God who is not absolutely sovereign in everything is not sovereign at all. God promised His children that He works all things for their good (Rom 8:28). There is great joy in humbly walking and communing with Him to discover and understand His design for what happens in our lives.

Questions for meditation:

1) Am I happy for my peers & friends who have done better than me or do I regard them with discontent in my heart? When God looks into my heart, will He be pleased with how I regard my friends?

2) Do I have friends in every strata of society or am I only comfortable interacting with a certain segment of people in society?

3) Do I think more highly of myself than I ought or do I have a sober recognition of the person God made me to be?

4) Am I “ambitious” because I want to achieve much in this world or am I just trying to be a good Steward of the gifts, talents & opportunities that God has give to me?

What you can pray for:

1) that I learn to love those who love the Lord regardless of where they stand in society

2) That I may use the gifts & talents given by God for His glory