Daily Devotional

November 7, 2017

Daybreak: 1 Kings 1:1-53

“And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.” (1 Kings 1:52)

Actions have consequences. That is a lesson we try early to instill in our children. Not long ago, a first-grade girl was sitting in church with one of her friends. Paying little attention to what was going on in the service, the little girl and her friend were talking and giggling. Her mother tried to quiet her, but a few moments after her whispered correction, the talking and giggling resumed. Finally, the girl’s mother took her out of the service to discipline her. She told her daughter that because her behavior had been inappropriate, she would not be allowed to sit with any of her friends during church for one month. The girl very sweetly said, “Oh, Mom, I am so sorry. I will not do it again, ever!” The mother accepted that apology, but let her daughter know that the apology did not change the discipline. Actions have consequences!

We can see that concept in today’s text. Adonijah took a bold step and declared himself king. The consequence of that action was that he feared for his life. Nathan took a bold step and devised a plan to prompt David to make Solomon king. The result — Adonijah’s conspiracy was defeated. In our key verse, Solomon let Adonijah know that the consequences of his future actions would be life or death.

Our actions today will have consequences. We may not make life or death decisions or turn the direction of a kingdom, but we will have conversations, go places, and participate in activities. What we say could encourage someone to seek God, or what we do could influence another person to drift in his or her relationship with the Lord. Even seemingly insignificant actions can have lasting consequences. Let us pray that God will help what we do to have results that will glorify Him!

Background

The Book of 1 Kings opens with a description of the ailing King David. Though he was aged and weak in his body, his mind and wisdom and will were yet strong — facts that are illustrated by this chapter.

While Abishag was considered a concubine of David, she did not serve as an ordinary concubine. She was David’s companion and probably his personal nurse.

Adonijah may have seemed the likely candidate to succeed his father. As David’s fourth son, he was the oldest one living. Amnon, the firstborn, had been killed by Absalom (2 Samuel 13:20-33). The second son, Daniel, is mentioned only once (1 Chronicles 3:1), so he must have died while he was still young. Absalom, the third son, rebelled and was killed by Joab (2 Samuel 13:1-18). Perhaps thirty-five years old, Adonijah was used to having his own way because his father had not disciplined him (verse 6).

Adonijah gathered followers, including some who had been loyal to David during Absalom’s rebellion (see chart below), and set about to make himself king. Adonijah, Abiathar, and Joab may have known that David intended Solomon to succeed him on the throne, yet they chose to ignore that knowledge and forge ahead in a conspiracy. A coronation feast was held in the Kidron Valley, south of Jerusalem. 

David had promised Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, that Solomon would follow him as the king of Israel. The prophet, Nathan, knew of that promise, and also knew that God intended for Solomon to be king. Nathan was courageous enough to take a course of action that was intended to stop Adonijah. 

When Bathsheba and Nathan made David aware of the current events regarding Adonijah, he immediately arranged to have Solomon anointed as king. This was accomplished publicly at Gihon, a spring that was less than a mile from Adonijah’s celebration. The people’s excitement was loud enough for Adonijah and his cohorts to hear.

The people of Israel were given several indicators which showed that David had appointed Solomon. At this time, mules were prized animals, and most people rode donkeys. Only the king rode the king’s mule. The blowing of the trumpet indicated that this event was official. The holy anointing oil was used to anoint the high priests and the kings. 

Once Adonijah and his followers became aware of Solomon’s coronation, their party quickly disbursed. Adonijah went to the altar, hoping for safety. Solomon let him return home on the condition that he behaved. 

Individual Position Absolom's rebellion Adonijah's rebellion
Joab David’s army commander Sided with David Sided with Adonijah
 Abiathar High Priest Sided with David Sided with Adonijah
 Jonathan Abiathar’s son Sided with David Sided with Adonijah
 Zadok High Priest Sided with David Sided with David
 Benaiah

Distinguished warrior
(head of David’s bodyguard,
the Cherethites & Pelethites)

Sided with David Sided with David
 Nathan Prophet Not mentioned Sided with David
 Shimei
(2 men)
  One Shimei cursed David Another Shimei sided with David
 Rei This text is his only reference   Sided with David

 

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I.   The reign of Solomon
      A.   The ascension of Solomon
            1.   The suppression of Adonijah (1:1-53)
                  a.   Adonijah’s plot to be king (1:1-27)
                        (1)   David’s decline (1:1-4)
                        (2)   Adonijah’s declaration (1:5-10)
                        (3)   Nathan’s counterplot (1:11-27)
                               (a)   The plot formed (1:11-14)
                               (b)   The plot executed (1:15-27)
                  b.   Solomon’s anointing (1:28-40)
                        (1)   The reassurance of Bathsheba (1:28-31)
                        (2)   The command to anoint Solomon (1:32-37)
                        (3)   The anointing of Solomon (1:38-40)
                  c.   Adonijah’s submission (1:41-53)
                        (1)   The disturbing news (1:41-49)
                        (2)   The great fear (1:50-53)

A Closer Look

  1. Who declared Adonijah king?
     
  2. In essence, Nathan asked David, “Have you appointed Adonijah king without telling me?” Why do you think Nathan felt free to ask such a question of the king?
     
  3. Note some lessons you have learned because of consequences to your actions.

Conclusion

Each day holds a new set of actions and consequences. What sort of results will your life produce today?

Reference Materials