Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose, and each went his own way. And Adonijah feared Solomon. So he arose and went and took hold of the horns of the altar. Then it was told Solomon, “Behold, Adonijah fears King Solomon, for behold, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.'” And Solomon said, “If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” (1 Kings 1:49-52 ESV)
Adonijah was King David’s oldest living son and had arranged a great feast with lots of important guests in order to set himself up as king. He appeared to have legitimacy to his actions being the oldest and David being too old and weak to rule. The only problem was that he was not appointed by David. David had already promised the kingship to Solomon. When David heard what Adonijah had done, he took action to anoint Solomon. When Adonijah and his guests heard it, they fled for their lives. Adomijah and his attempted coup poses a real threat to Solomon. Solomon would have been within his rights to put Adonijah to death. But Solomon spares him. So what?
This gives us such a great picture of our own actions. We seek to make ourselves king, demanding that others do what we want and refusing to submit to the direction of others, particularly the instruction of the Lord. When you choose not to obey and do your own thing; go your own way, you are making yourself king instead of submitting to Jesus as king. And it always seems right at the time, just like Adonijah seemed right. When you first have faith in Jesus it is a lot like Adonijah fearing Solomon and grabbing hold of the horns of the alter and begging for mercy. That is all you can do. You’ve been going your own way (thus making yourself your own king) and rightly deserve the death penalty from the rightful king. But the king is merciful and that changes everything.
In what ways do you not submit to the authorities over you and instead do your own thing? Did you know this rebellion against your rightful king? Do you know that your are not dead only because your rightful king is merciful?
Thank King Jesus today for his mercy and commit yourself to follow him as your King.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 1 Kings 1, Gal 5, Ez 32, Ps 19