1 Kings 2:13-46 (Part 1) – Pride, Adonijah, Kelly Bryant vs. What God Wants To Teach Us

Posted: October 13, 2018 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 2:13-46 (Part 1 of 3)
Solomon Establishes His Rule

Man, there is a lot of stuff going in this passage. It reads like some CIA spy novel where agents are part of some political coup in some third world country so that a ruler that is allied with our country takes the throne. Political intrigue fit for a modern-day novel taking place right here in the Bible. But what does this sequence in 1 Kings 2:13-46 tell us that we can use today in our world.

The lesson I think is two-fold and I am personally in a season of learning both. One is that we must not just talk trust in the Lord but actually do it. In this passage, Solomon actions demonstrate his trust in the Lord. The other lesson is about having discernment. Solomon saw through the claims of his enemies and discerned what their true motives were.

First, we must keep the main the main thing. What do I mean by that? Adonijah was trying to divert attention away from what the main thing was – Solomon was the chosen king. He wanted the glory for himself as if he had some right of his stolen away. He was so focused on himself that he was unwilling to accept his dad’s and God’s choice to king – Solomon. He was not willing to submit himself to authority. He would rather go down to death than to humbly submit to the leadership that had been put in place over him. We all could learn a lesson from this. God has you and I where we are to learn what we need to learn for what He has in store for us. Case in point, recently, in college football is brought to my mind. As many of you know, I am a rabid Clemson University football fan. If you follow college football, you know that Clemson is very successful at football. Out of the four years so far that there has been a college football playoff, the Tigers have been in the last three playoffs. Though they lost in the semifinal round last year, the previous two years they won one national championship and nearly won the year before that. All in all, there is only one college football team, Alabama, that has had more victories during the past 8 seasons than the Clemson Tigers. Last year, there was a transition from all-everything quarterback, Deshaun Watson, to last year’s starter, Kelly Bryant. Kelly led the team to the college football playoffs last year but performed miserably in last year’s semifinal game against Alabama. And then this year, the highest rated high school quarterback in the nation, Trevor Lawrence, came to campus and pushed for starting time. He is that talented as a freshman. Through the first 4 games, Kelly Bryant was the starter each game but Trevor was getting a good bit of playing time. After Trevor’s performance in Game 4 and Kelly’s rather lackluster performance in that same game, Trevor was named starter for Game 5.

Instead of handling it well and accepting that Trevor would get the start (and knowing that Kelly would still get plenty of playing time), Kelly decided to quit the team and announce that he was going sit out the rest of the season and transfer to another school where he could be the starter in the 2019 season. If you are a fan of college football, you have seen this play out in the media quite a bit here in the last few weeks. Although Kelly is not one of those spoiled brat college football players (he is actually a really smart, good kid who was one of the leaders of the team), he did in this situation let his team down and acted impetuously. Sure, Trevor is much more talented than he is but he had a role to play on the team and the team is somewhat weakened by his selfish behavior. That is what came to mind here today as I was reading about Adonijah. Most assuredly, he would have a role to play in Solomon’s kingdom. He was part of the family of David. But Adonijah selfishly wanted to be king and did not think he should be supplanted by his younger brother. There’s a lesson here both from Kelly Bryant and Adonijah for us all. Sometimes, we must accept where God has placed and live in that place and do whatever it takes to support the team we are on. God has a purpose in our roles at the present time and he is teaching us something that we will need to understand as we grow in our faith, in roles, and in our leadership. Kelly and Adonijah did not trust that the Lord would provide for them so they both took matters into their own hands.

Second, we should have discernment about what is going on before us. This discernment is about ourselves as much as it about anyone else. We must analyze our frustrations, hurts, slights, and determine why we feel that way. Is it ego? Is it pride? Is it immaturity? We always must examine our own starting place before we examine others. Sure, like Solomon, we must be wise about analyzing advice given or requested in light of Scripture. We must compare motives of others to Scripture. The Holy Spirit will convict us by that “check in our spirit” about someone if they are not acting in accord with Scripture.

However, the more sly way we often hurt ourselves is through our own pride. Pride blinds us to our blind spots. Pride blinds us to what we need to learn. Pride often short-circuits God’s plan for our lives. We need to examine ourselves when we don’t get our way. Adonijah should have went to the Lord in prayer to seek answers rather than acting so impetuously. Kelly Bryant at Clemson, in my mind, should have really thought this thing through for a week or two. Immediate knee jerk reactions caused by hurt pride are often wrong decisions. On the other side of the coin, discernment is outward as well. When it comes to the motives of others, the real motives are always ultimately revealed. When it comes to our own motives, that seems harder to see for us. Prayer is the only thing that I have found that leads to true discernment about others and then ESPECIALLY about ourselves.

So this passage has two things in it today (among the many things) that struck me – having the innocence to trust the Lord really, truly, deeply and having prayer-inspired discernment about others and especially about ourselves. Let’s read this passage together now:

13 One day Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, came to see Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. “Have you come with peaceful intentions?” she asked him.

“Yes,” he said, “I come in peace. 14 In fact, I have a favor to ask of you.”

“What is it?” she asked.

15 He replied, “As you know, the kingdom was rightfully mine; all Israel wanted me to be the next king. But the tables were turned, and the kingdom went to my brother instead; for that is the way the Lord wanted it. 16 So now I have just one favor to ask of you. Please don’t turn me down.”

“What is it?” she asked.

17 He replied, “Speak to King Solomon on my behalf, for I know he will do anything you request. Ask him to let me marry Abishag, the girl from Shunem.”

18 “All right,” Bathsheba replied. “I will speak to the king for you.”

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak on Adonijah’s behalf. The king rose from his throne to meet her, and he bowed down before her. When he sat down on his throne again, the king ordered that a throne be brought for his mother, and she sat at his right hand.

20 “I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “I hope you won’t turn me down.”

“What is it, my mother?” he asked. “You know I won’t refuse you.”

21 “Then let your brother Adonijah marry Abishag, the girl from Shunem,” she replied.

22 “How can you possibly ask me to give Abishag to Adonijah?” King Solomon demanded. “You might as well ask me to give him the kingdom! You know that he is my older brother, and that he has Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah on his side.”

23 Then King Solomon made a vow before the Lord: “May God strike me and even kill me if Adonijah has not sealed his fate with this request. 24 The Lord has confirmed me and placed me on the throne of my father, David; he has established my dynasty as he promised. So as surely as the Lord lives, Adonijah will die this very day!” 25 So King Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada to execute him, and Adonijah was put to death.

26 Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your home in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not kill you now, because you carried the Ark of the Sovereign Lord for David my father and you shared all his hardships.” 27 So Solomon deposed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, thereby fulfilling the prophecy the Lord had given at Shiloh concerning the descendants of Eli.

28 Joab had not joined Absalom’s earlier rebellion, but he had joined Adonijah’s rebellion. So when Joab heard about Adonijah’s death, he ran to the sacred tent of the Lord and grabbed on to the horns of the altar. 29 When this was reported to King Solomon, he sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada to execute him.

30 Benaiah went to the sacred tent of the Lord and said to Joab, “The king orders you to come out!”

But Joab answered, “No, I will die here.”

So Benaiah returned to the king and told him what Joab had said.

31 “Do as he said,” the king replied. “Kill him there beside the altar and bury him. This will remove the guilt of Joab’s senseless murders from me and from my father’s family. 32 The Lord will repay him[a] for the murders of two men who were more righteous and better than he. For my father knew nothing about the deaths of Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and of Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 May their blood be on Joab and his descendants forever, and may the Lord grant peace forever to David, his descendants, his dynasty, and his throne.”

34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada returned to the sacred tent and killed Joab, and he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 35 Then the king appointed Benaiah to command the army in place of Joab, and he installed Zadok the priest to take the place of Abiathar.

36 The king then sent for Shimei and told him, “Build a house here in Jerusalem and live there. But don’t step outside the city to go anywhere else. 37 On the day you so much as cross the Kidron Valley, you will surely die; and your blood will be on your own head.”

38 Shimei replied, “Your sentence is fair; I will do whatever my lord the king commands.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.

39 But three years later two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. When Shimei learned where they were, 40 he saddled his donkey and went to Gath to search for them. When he found them, he brought them back to Jerusalem.

41 Solomon heard that Shimei had left Jerusalem and had gone to Gath and returned. 42 So the king sent for Shimei and demanded, “Didn’t I make you swear by the Lord and warn you not to go anywhere else or you would surely die? And you replied, ‘The sentence is fair; I will do as you say.’ 43 Then why haven’t you kept your oath to the Lord and obeyed my command?”

44 The king also said to Shimei, “You certainly remember all the wicked things you did to my father, David. May the Lord now bring that evil on your own head. 45 But may I, King Solomon, receive the Lord’s blessings, and may one of David’s descendants always sit on this throne in the presence of the Lord.” 46 Then, at the king’s command, Benaiah son of Jehoiada took Shimei outside and killed him.

So the kingdom was now firmly in Solomon’s grip.

This passage is oh so valuable to us I think. I will revisit this passage two more times. Today, we looked at Adonijah. In the next blog, we look at Joab and the one after that we will look at Shimei. But today’s lesson shows us that we must trust the Lord and be discerning about our own motives as to why we are taking the actions we are taking. Is it pride that is causing us to act the way we are? When we are acting out of hurt pride, we are often failing to trust the Lord in what He has in store for us. Sure, sometimes, people want to hurt us but more often than not, it is our pride and lack of trust in the Lord that causes us to take certain destructive courses of action. This passage really teaches us that we must examine our motives for what we are about to do. Adonijah’s pride caused him to try to thwart God’s ordained plan and he ended up dead. For Kelly Bryant at Clemson, he is now going to sit out for a season and probably end up at a school that is not near as successful as Clemson for what? Pride. All of us have situations in our lives where we let pride lead us to foolish decisions rather than seeing what God is trying to prepare us for in our futures. Let us think on that today. What foolish decisions have I made or are about to make because of pride rather than seeking and learning what God is trying to teach us.

Amen and Amen.

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