Jump Start # 3066
1 Kings 1:11 “Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, ‘Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know it?”
I was reading through this section recently. David is at the end of his life. He has done more for Israel than anyone else. He left footprints all through the Bible. Good kings of Judah, such as Hezekiah, would be known as “son of David,” even though generations separated them. Jesus was called the Son of David, the connection to the Messianic hope of the kingdom.
David’s final days were not peaceful. As he was approaching that door of death, plans, schemes and political maneuvering were taking place within his family. People were lining up and sides were being drawn. It seems that David had not designated who the next king would be. Typically, the oldest son would have that role. Amnon and Absalom, David’s oldest sons, were both dead. Next in line was Adonijah. He made the assumption that he would be the next king. Rather than waiting for David’s death, or David’s blessing, Adonijah gathered his supporters, held a rally and a parade and declared himself to be king. He wasn’t. David was still alive. This shocking news comes to Nathan, the prophet. He wasn’t included nor invited by Adonijah. Nathan comes up with a plan for Bathsheba to tell David and have the king appoint Solomon as the next king. There was a lot at stake with this. Not only would the chosen one rule the nation, live in the palace, but the one not chosen would likely be eliminated as a potential threat. Life and death were at stake here. Nathan realized this.
Bathsheba, followed by Nathan, tells the king about Adonijah’s bold move. Solomon is chosen and within the next couple of chapters Adonijah is put to death. These are not happy pages in our Bibles. Scheming, deception, maneuvering, planning all built upon selfishness and self preservation.
Now, some lessons for us:
First, when it comes to politics, little has changed. We hear what we are told, but we do not know about all the things behind the scenes. People trying to climb the ladder, doing favors, and acting like a friend of others, just to stab them in the back at the right time. Corruption, deception, and power struggles has followed politics for a long, long time. Political assassinations happened among the Roman Caesars. They happened in the Biblical record. The common person, like you and I, are left to serve and suffer from those who really do not care about others. Some things never change.
Second, blended families can be the foundation of a lot of jealousy, envy and trouble. Blended families are a very common part of our times. By definition, a blended family is when the husband and wife are both on a second marriage. They have children from the first marriage. That mixture, blend, as some call it, can be difficult. It is delicate bringing children from different families into one. The Brady Bunch made a great TV show, but in reality, a lot of trouble can come from that. Lots of talking, praying, and putting things in writing will help the blended family move along smoothly. David had so many wives. He had children from all of those wives. David could rule the nation, but he never seemed to be able to rule his family well. Selfish adults who fall in love and give no thought to what things will look like when they merge their families together, will find more heartache than bliss. It can be done well. It can be done beautifully. But realize it is sticky, tricky and not everyone is going to be onboard with the idea.
Third, had Adonijah been patient, he may well have been the next king. Maybe he knew that Solomon was in line to get David’s blessing. Maybe he thought birth order is really no order. Most times when a person takes matters into their own hands, things do not go well. This is true with justice. A crime has been committed. The victims tire waiting for the slow legal process to do something. So, they take matters in their own hand. And, as a result, the victim is also arrested for a crime.
In a perfect world, Adonijah and Solomon should have sat down over lunch and talked things out. They were family. They both had David as their father. Maybe a mutual agreement could have been forged. Maybe one would be king and the other would serve in another capacity. But with both fighting for the king of the hill, only one would win. There was such an air of violence, that even Nathan understood that Bathsheba and Solomon would likely be killed if Adonijah remained in power. There was certainly no love lost in that palace.
Fourth, for us, there is a secondary principle that reminds us to have our papers and wills in order for those who follow us. My sweet dad had everything spelled out. It was so easy as we went through his things and his house. This morning, I did a similar thing. I wrote out some instructions about my things and where I how I want them to be divided up. Sometimes that’s hard to do. But without that, an Adonijah and a Solomon atmosphere is created. I have literally witnessed, grown children racing away from the cemetery to get to the parent’s house to grab all that they want before the others got there. Mama was barely in the ground, and the civil war about who gets what starts. Don’t do that to your family. You might think, that would never happen. You’d be surprised. Just write out instructions. Put some thought to it. Many of the things we treasure, our children do not want. But there are valuable items.
Solomon was to be the king. It was a long period of peace. The nation became wealthy. Solomon built the temple. This was an easy project because of all the preparation David had made. Later, Solomon introduced idols. At his death, the kingdom split. Was Solomon the best choice? Would Adonijah have done things differently? Life isn’t lived looking in the rearview mirror. We must take what we know and move forward and onward and always upward.
The legacy of our families…sure is something to think about.