Just as the LORD was with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon and make his throne even greater than that of my lord King David."
I. ADONIJAH INHERITED A CONSTITUTIONAL TENDENCY AMBITION AND SELF CONCEIT. His association with Absalom is not without significance. The two brothers were alike in their sin and in the tendencies which led to it. These were inherited,
(1) The law that "like produces like," which is proved to demonstration in the breeding of lower animals (illustrations from horses bred for speed or endurance, dogs for fleetness or scent, pigeons for swiftness or beauty, etc.), asserts itself in man. Not only are physical qualities inherited, so that we recognise a "family likeness" between children of the same parents; but mental qualities are inherited too; statesmanship, heroism, or artistic gift, reappearing in the same family for generations. Moral tendencies are transmitted too; and Scripture exemplifies it. If Isaac is so luxurious that he must have his savoury dish, we do not so much wonder that Esau, his son sells his birthright for a mess of pottage. If Rebekah, like Laban her brother, is greedy and cunning, her son Jacob inherits her tendency, and must live a life of suffering, and present many an agonising prayer before he is set free from his besetting sin. So is it still. The drunkard gives to his offspring a craving for drink, which is a disease. In more senses than one, "The evil that men do lives after them." Surely, then, when not only future happiness, but the destiny of children depends on the choice of a life partner, there should be regard paid not merely to physical beauty, or mental endowment, or social position, but, above all these, to moral and spiritual worth.
(2) It is argued that this law of moral heritage affects personal responsibility; that it is hardly fair to condemn a man for a sin to which he is naturally prone. But "shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Whatever your parentage, you are not "committed to do these abominations." If the disposition be evil, it need never become the habit of life. It is something you may yield to, but it is something you may resist; for "He is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear." Rather should any tendencies to evil be recognised as God's voice calling attention to the weak places of character, that there we may keep most eager watch and ward. And because we are weak, He has sent His Son to bring deliverance to the captives, that through Him we may be inspired with hope, and fitted with strength, and rejoice in the liberty wherewith Christ makes His people free.
II. ADONIJAH WAS MISLED BY ADULATION. "He was also a very goodly man. Physically, as well as morally, he was a repetition of Absalom. His parents were guilty of partiality. David loved him the more because (like the lost boy) Adonijah was so fair, so noble in mien, so princely in stature. Courtiers and soldiers (who looked, as they did in Saul's time, for a noble-looking king) flattered him. Joab and Abiathar joined the adulators. Intoxicated with vanity, Adonijah set up a royal court, as Absalom had done (see ver. 5). Every position in life has its own temptations. The ill-favoured child who is the butt at school and the scapegoat at home is tempted to bitterness and revenge. His character is likely to be unsightly, as a plant would be, which grows in a damp, dark vault. There can belittle beauty if there is no sunshine. On the other hand, if the gift of physical beauty attracts attention and wins admiration, or if conversational power be brilliant, etc., it is a source of peril. Many a one has thus been befooled into sin and misery, or entrapped into an unhappy marriage, and by lifelong sadness paid the penalty of folly, or venturing too far, prompted by ambition, has fallen, like Icarus when his waxen wings melted in the sunshine. When that time of disappointment and disenchantment comes, happy is it when such an one, like the prodigal, comes to himself, and says, I will arise, and go to my father!"
III. ADONIJAH WAS UNDISCIPLINED AT HOME. "His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? This refers not only to the special act of rebellion, but to the tendencies and habits leading up to it, which David had not checked, for fear of vering the high spirited lad. The weak indulgence of children (such as that which Eli exhibited) is the cause of untold misery. Not many parents blazon abroad the story of their domestic grief. Loyal hands draw down the veil over the discord at home, and that agony of prayer which is heard by the Father who seeth in secret." You do not see the girl who mars the beauty of her early womanhood by a flippant disregard of her parents, and whose own pleasure seems to be the only law of her life. You do not see the child whose hasty passion and uncontrolled temper are the dread of the household; who, by his ebullitions of rage, gets what he wishes, till authority is disregarded and trodden underfoot. You do not see the son who thinks it manly to be callous to a mother's anxiety and a father's counsels, who likes to forget home associations, and is sinking in haunts of evil, where you may weep over him as a wreck. But, though you see them not, they exist. Far otherwise, in some of these sad experiences, it might have been. Suppose there had been firm resolution instead of habitual indulgence; suppose that authority had been asserted and used in days before these evil habits were formed; suppose that, instead of leaving the future to chance, counsels and prayers had moulded character during moulding time - might there not have been joy where now there is grief? Heavy are our responsibilities as parents. Yet splendid are our possibilities! These children who may prove our curses may, with God's blessing on our fidelity, grow up to be wise, pure hearted, courageous men of God, who will sweeten the atmosphere of the home, and purge this nation of its sins, and make the name of "the King of saints" honoured and praised throughout the world! "Train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." - A.R.
And Benaiah... said Amen.
I. HUMAN HELPLESSNESS. Man's plans only succeed when in the way of God's Providence, and when carried out in His strength. The true, broad view of His Providence shows us a government of the world's affairs, which takes in the life of the highest and humblest, their aims, their work, their wants, their very sins and opposition, and, as here, makes all contribute to the revelation of His Son and the setting up of His kingdom. At the same time He can fulfil David's narrower plan, and secure Solomon's elevation. He can secure my private wish and His own will; He can harmonise the course, and aims, and wants, of two lives, or twenty, or a hundred, even if not to converge for many years to come. If they harmonise, it is because "He says so too." Men must strive in vain against God's purposes; or for their own, without Jehovah's "Amen." Men are, and are not, "architects of their own fortune." "Except the Lord build the house" of David, or Benaiah, or any other, "they labour in vain that build it." Babel-builders leave God out of their counsel; they must have Him in their work. Napoleon's fall dates from his words at Berlin: " I propose, and I dispose." "Man proposes, God disposes."
II. HOPE. Human effort is not to be paralysed: "I cannot make my plan absolutely secure, or any plan, therefore I will do nothing." This is fatalism. There is a responsibility for effort lying on every man. David and Benaiah must propose. This done prayerfully and submissively, man may hope for a blessing on his effort, The godly man proposes, and may hope that God will "say so too."
III. HUMILITY. Not the sullen submission which bows, and bears, and yields, because there is no choice, if He does not "say so too." But the reverent acknowledgment of a superior will to which a man loves to bow; the glad submission of every plan to the scrutiny and revision of a wise Father.
1. Let all our plans in life be conceived in this spirit. Write "D.V." upon every record of purpose and desire.
2. All must be conceived and carried out in His strength. In our vows —
Thou art not only to perform Thy part,
Thou also mine: as when the league was made,
Thou didst at once Thyself indite
And hold my hand, while I did write. — (Herbert.)
(H. J. Foster.)
PeopleAbiathar, Abishag, Absalom, Adonijah, Bathsheba, Benaiah, Cherethites, David, Haggith, Jehoiada, Joab, Jonathan, Kerethites, Nathan, Pelethites, Rei, Shimei, Solomon, Zadok, Zeruiah
PlacesEn-rogel, Gihon, Jerusalem, Serpent's Stone
TopicsAuthority, David, Greater, Seat, Solomon, Throne
Outline1. Abishag cherishes David in his extreme age
5. Adonijah, David's darling, usurps the kingdom
11. By the council of Nathan
15. Bathsheba moves the king
22. And Nathan seconds her
28. David renews his oath to Bathsheba
32. Solomon, by David's appointment,
38. being anointed king by Zadok and Nathan, the people triumph
41. Jonathan bringing the news, Adonijah's guests fly
50. Adonijah, flying to the horns of the altar, is dismissed by Solomon
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 1:37
LibraryDavid Appointing Solomon
'Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. 29. And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30. Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. 31. Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Gihon, the Same with the Fountain of Siloam.
Whether Prayer Should be Vocal?
The Reign of David.
The Fact of the Redeemer's Return was Typified in the Lives of Joseph and Solomon.
Of Justification by Faith. Both the Name and the Reality Defined.
Prov. 22:06 the Duties of Parents
Tit. 2:06 Thoughts for Young Men
Christ a Complete Saviour:
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