The days of King David’s life were drawing to a close. He was about 70 years old, and he was quickly becoming a feeble man. He was waiting patiently for his change to everlasting life in heaven – having his comforts cared for by a Shunammite maiden who had been carefully selected for the purpose. But sadly, the dark retribution of his one great sin was still following him; for before he fell asleep and departed this life, the words of Nathan – “The sword shall never depart from thine house” – were to have one more fulfillment. Adonijah, his fourth son – whom he had pampered and petted by the weakest indulgence – became impatient for his father’s death and eager to obtain his crown. Accordingly, he entered into a well-concerted plan to secure the object of his ambition. Parents ought to take note of this and mark the folly of permitting their children to be unrestrained and obtain every impulsive desire without control. There must be discipline in the home, or the outcome will be sorrow. There must be a hand of firmness, but that hand must always wear the glove of love!
Following the example of Absalom, Adonijah set himself up grandly as the heir to the throne of Israel. He rode around in a chariot drawn by magnificent horses and preceded by fifty heralds. Among his adherents were Joab – the captain of David’s army – and Abiathar the priest. We do not wonder at the defection of Joab; for David had made him feel, in many ways, that he was weary of his arrogant and overbearing demeanor. But it is not so easy to account for Abiathar’s desertion. He had been with David ever since the time of Saul’s persecution, when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam. He had been the companion of David’s changing circumstances for more than 40 years, and he had done noble service during Absalom’s revolt; so it is with the deepest sorrow that we see him now among those who were acting in opposition to David’s wishes and the Lord’s will for Solomon to be his father’s successor. Any attempt to give the kingdom to another person was not only rebellion against David, but also treason against Jehovah! On this ground, therefore – as well as on that of personal devotion to the aged king – the revolt of Adonijah was opposed by Nathan the prophet, Zadok the high priest, Benaiah, and the majority of the mighty men whom David had honored for their valor in his service.
Adonijah acted with the greatest promptitude and pride, and went with his followers to a place near En-rogel. There he made a great feast; and he was already rejoicing in the success which he imagined that he had achieved, when he found himself unexpectedly checkmated and defeated! Nathan the prophet, having heard of Adonjah’s doings, went immediately to Bath-sheba, Solomon’s mother. He advised her to go into the royal presence at once and inform the king of what was happening. She did so; and while she was in the middle of speaking to David, Nathan himself – according to a previous agreement with her – came in and confirmed her words. Upon hearing this, the king assured Bath-sheba that the throne would indeed be given to Solomon. He then commanded Nathan, Zadok, and Jehoiada to set his son Solomon upon his own royal mule, and to lead him through the city to Gihon. There, Zadok (as God’s priest) and Nathan (as God’s prophet) were to anoint Solomon as the Lord’s chosen king, in the Lord’s name! After this had been done, David ordered that the trumpet was to be blown before him; and the shout was to be raised: “God save King Solomon!” Then they were to bring him back to the palace and seat him upon the throne, so that all the people might know that David had appointed him to be the next ruler over Israel.
These injunctions were obeyed to the letter, and the result was that popular enthusiasm was evoked to the utmost! And just as these people expressed great joy in the elevation of Solomon; so also, every true believer rejoices in the exaltation of the greater Son of David! The echo of their shouting broke in upon the mirth of Adonijah’s feast, and provoked the following question from Joab: “Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar?” And Jonathan, the son of Abiathar, came just in time to answer! He told them all that had transpired; and these tidings immediately disconcerted the followers of Adonijah, so that every one of them fled to his home. Meanwhile, Adonijah himself sought refuge in the Tabernacle – clutching the horns of the altar, in hopes that the sacredness of the place would preserve him from being executed on the spot. Solomon assured him that if he proved himself worthy, he would be safe; but otherwise, he would be put to death. In response, Adonijah came and bowed the knee before God’s chosen king, and then went to his own house.
Here we see a picture of Jesus, the Son of David and the Son of God, exalted to the throne of glory in spite of all His enemies! His Kingdom is far greater than that of David, His earthly ancestor; and therein, all the true people of God enthusiastically rejoice. But the prosperity of His cause is a terror to His enemies, and nothing can save those who will not submit to His authority and accept His salvation.
Lord, we give thanks that Jesus, David’s greater Son, is exalted to the throne of the greatest glory and honor! We repent of times in our lives when we have proudly rebelled against Him and opposed His will. But we thank You that He reigns, despite the opposition of all His enemies; and that His Kingdom is endless! Amen.
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photo of Gihon Spring in Jerusalem by BiblePlaces.com | Lightstock.com