Today King David is still addressing the assembly of Israel – “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced; and the work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the Lord God.” Then David says that he has prepared for the house of God with all of his might. “Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver.”
David sets an example before the people as being a humble, giving servant of the Lord before he asks the people, “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?” So the leaders of the tribes of Israel step forward to give willingly. And David praises the Lord and says, “O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You. And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision.”
Although the Lord has told King David that Solomon would be the next king, David’s oldest living son, Adonijah, makes a move to take the throne, believing that he should be the rightful heir – “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. (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.) Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed and helped Adonijah. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah.”
Once again we see a good looking son of David exalt himself in an attempt to take the kingdom, and once again we see David do nothing to rebuke his son. Also, once again, we see David betrayed by some of his own men. So Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, and Nathan, David’s loyal servant, come to David in his last days and plead for him to take action. David says to Bathsheba, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, just as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so I certainly will do this day.”
Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint Solomon as king before the people of Israel. Then Solomon takes his seat on the throne and David says, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, while my eyes see it!” When Adonijah hears that Solomon is now on the throne, he fears for his life and takes refuge at the altar of the Lord. Then Solomon says, “‘If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.’ So King Solomon sent them to bring him down from the altar. And he came and fell down before King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, ‘Go to your house.’”
Although Adonijah attempted to exalt himself as king, his attempt had no lasting impact. The Lord is the One who exalts, and He has already chosen Solomon as the next king of Israel.
- “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).
- “Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10).
Will Adonijah learn to humble himself and prove to be a worthy man? Keep reading to find out. (1 Chronicles 29:1-22, 1 Kings 1:1-53)