We read of trouble in the house of David in today’s Bible reading*. David is an old man. He has promised that Solomon would succeed him as Israel’s king. But there’s a problem. Nathan sees that Adonijah had conspired to succeed David. He tells Solomon’s mother to report the news to David. Then Nathan entered the room and confirmed Bathsheba’s news.
David called in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada and instructed them to put Solomon on his own mule and with his servants to present him as David’s successor.
Adonijah learned of Solomon’s anointing and was afraid of Solomon. And rightly so! He fled and grabbed onto the horns of the altar, claiming asylum. (1 Kings 1:50) Solomon was willing to grant him mercy, but because Adonijah requested Abishag the Shunammite to be his wife, Solomon had him executed. Abishag was a beautiful young woman who had been David’s caregiver in his last days. (1 Kings 1:2-4)
Adonijah’s request for Abishag was a backhanded request for access to David’s harem and might encourage the people to acknowledge him as king instead of Solomon. (2 Samuel 16:20–22)
Solomon would have none of that and had Adonijah executed for mutiny.
Have you ever felt shortchanged? Have you ever felt threatened by someone else’s promotion?
If God is sovereign over all things, then we shouldn’t feel threatened by someone else’s success. Now, there’s nothing wrong with (humbly) “tooting your own horn” and reminding a superior of your accomplishments. But Adonijah went beyond tooting his own horn. And it cost him his life.
Anyone God puts in authority above us is a representative of God Himself. Rejecting someone in authority over us is rejecting God. (Romans 13:1–5)
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
1 Kings 1
1 Kings 2